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A review of waterfowl investigations and a comparison of aerial and ground censusing of waterfowl at Minto Flats, Alaska

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dc.contributor.author Rowinski, Ludwig J.
dc.date.accessioned 2017-01-11T23:36:09Z
dc.date.available 2017-01-11T23:36:09Z
dc.date.issued 1958
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11122/7210
dc.description.abstract The Minto Flats is one of the important waterfowl concentration areas of interior Alaska. Aerial surveys and ground studies were initiated in this area in 1950 and have continued in succeeding years. This study began in September, 1955, as a research project of the Alaska Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit. The study was financed largely by Pitman-Robertson Project Alaska W-3-R. The Minto Flats is an area of about 450 square miles, located about 35 miles west of Fairbanks. The important nesting species are scaup, pintail and widgeon. The Minto Lakes area serves as an important molting and flocking area for these and other species. Climatically the Minto Flats resemble the rest of interior Alaska. Water levels in the area are highly variable and influence the vegetation and breeding. Minto Lakes, Big Lake, and the Tolovana Flats were selected for concentrated study in 1956. During the 1956 field studies, data were collected for comparison with data available from previous years. Waterfowl production in the Minto Flats area is affected principally by weather, changes in water level, and predation. Among the factors influencing censusing are the census methods, stratification, and sample size. Enumeration of waterfowl is affected by differences in the visibility of birds, population composition, environmental conditions, and the accuracy of observers in relation to the other variables and in regard to individual partiality and talent. The difference between observers, when analyzed statistically points out the need for continuity of observers with known levels of ability. Breeding bird census figures from aerial surveys from 1950 t o 1956 are not comparable due to differences in census methods. Aerial brood surveys are valuable for determining year to year production trends while ground surveys provide data on brood species composition. Together they are the best guide to waterfowl production. Nesting studies have provided some data on nesting terrain, clutch size, and nesting success. The effect of nest hunting on the breeding population and the time necessary for obtaining an adequate sample indicates that nest hunting is not an economical or accurate means of measuring yearly productive success. Aerial surveys are recognized as the most feasible way of measuring production if the accuracy of the information gathered from the air can be increased. en_US
dc.title A review of waterfowl investigations and a comparison of aerial and ground censusing of waterfowl at Minto Flats, Alaska en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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