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Survival of Barrow's goldeneyes during remigial molt and fall staging

Authors

  • Danica Hogan,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Wildlife Ecology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6
    Current affiliation:
    1. Bird Studies Canada, 115 Perimeter Road, Saskatoon, Sask., Canada S7N 0X4
    • Centre for Wildlife Ecology, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6.
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  • Jonathan E. Thompson,

    1. Ducks Unlimited Canada, 17915-118 Avenue, Edmonton, AB, Canada T5S 1L6
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  • Daniel Esler

    1. Centre for Wildlife Ecology, Simon Fraser University, 5421 Robertson Road, Delta, BC, Canada V4K 3N2
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  • Associate Editor: Joel Schmutz

Abstract

Postbreeding survival of waterfowl is rarely quantified, despite potential for constraints during this stage of the annual cycle that may subsequently affect population dynamics. We estimated survival of radio-marked adult male Barrow's goldeneyes (Bucephala islandica) during remigial molt and fall staging at Cardinal and Leddy Lakes in the Boreal Transition Zone of northwestern Alberta, Canada. Daily survival rate (DSR) was high during remigial molt (DSR = 0.9987, 95% CI: 0.9967–1.0000), corresponding to a 39-day period survival rate (PSR) of 0.95 (95% CI: 0.88–1.00). During fall staging, DSR was markedly lower (DSR = 0.9938, 95% CI: 0.9898–0.9978), corresponding to a PSR of 0.68 (95% CI: 0.53–0.87) over the 62-day period between the end of remigial molt and fall migration. Half of fall staging mortalities observed on Cardinal Lake were directly attributed to hunting. We conclude that remigial molt is a period with high survival in the annual cycle of Barrow's goldeneyes at our study sites. However, in light of low fall staging survival, Barrow's goldeneye harvest management strategies should be carefully evaluated with intent to reduce risk of localized high mortality at significant staging sites in western Canada. © 2013 The Wildlife Society.

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