Managing North American waterfowl in the face of uncertainty

Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics

4807_Nichols.pdf 594 kb 4807_Nichols high res.pdf 2.2MB
, , and


  • The Publications Warehouse does not have links to digital versions of this publication at this time
  • Download citation as: RIS


Informed management of waterfowl (or any animal population) requires management goals and objectives, the ability to implement management actions, periodic information about population and goal-related varlables, and knowledge of effects of management actions on population and goal-related variables. In North America, international treaties mandate a primary objective of protecting migratory bird populations, with a secondary objective of providing hunting opportunity in a manner compatible with such protection. Through the years, annual establishment of hunting regulations and acquisition and man-agement of habitat have been the primary management actions taken by federal agencies. Various information-gathering programs were established and, by the 1960s, had developed into arguably the best monitoring system in the world for continentally distributed animal populations. Retrospective analyses using estimates from this monitoring system have been used to investigate effects of management actions on waterfowl population and harvest dynamics, but key relationships arc still characterized by uncertainty. We recommend actively adaptive management as an approach that can meet short-term harvest objectives, while reducing uncertainty and ensuring sustainable populations over the long-term.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Managing North American waterfowl in the face of uncertainty
Series title:
Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics
Year Published:
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Larger Work Type:
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics
First page:
Last page: