The Atlantic and Great Lakes Sea Duck Migration Study, a collaborative effort funded by the Sea Duck Joint Venture and involving various state and federal organizations, continued in 2015. From late October through early December 2015, BRI biologists teamed up with the University of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management to capture White-winged Scoters and Long-tailed Ducks in Cape Cod Bay and Nantucket Sound. More than 330 sea ducks were captured and banded in one of the study’s most successful efforts to date.
As several sea duck species are in apparent population decline, the information gathered from this project will provide valuable information to biologists and conservationists as we work to identify important aspects of sea duck ecology.
BRI biologists will again partner with the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island state biologists to deploy another 38 satellite transmitters in Long Island Sound during March of 2016. We will continue to monitor the movements of all birds throughout the next one to two years. In addition to tracking annual movements, these data will be utilized to examine wintering habitat use of sea ducks throughout southern New England. As offshore wind energy becomes a reality in these waters, this information will be critical to spatial planning and minimizing impacts on sea ducks and marine wildlife.
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