Development of management objectives for waterfowl and shorebirds within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

By: , and 
Edited by: Rick BonneyDavid N. PashleyRobert Cooper, and Larry Niles


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The goal of the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan is to provide sufficient habitat to support 4.3 million wintering ducks and 1.0 million wintering geese annually. Under the assumption that the amount of foraging habitat is the primary limitation to supporting waterfowl population goals in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV), a habitat objective to make available 285,000 ha of waterfowl foraging habitat is divided among seven states. This habitat objective is further divided between public and private ownership and among three habitat types: Bottomland hardwood forest, moist-soil sites, and agricultural fields. Management objectives for shorebirds within the MAV which provide foraging habitat for 0.5 million shorebirds during their southward migration have been tentatively established. Several as yet unverified assumptions were used in establishing these objectives; consequently, we caution that the objectives are subject to revision as the assumptions are tested. We assumed that 0.5 million shorebirds move through the MAV during late summer and fall, each foraging for an average of 10 days. During this migration period, foraging shorebirds are assumed to require sufficient forage to gain 1 g of biomass per day, in addition to their basal metabolic needs. Given an invertebrate food supply that provides 17.6 kj ? g-1, we calculated that an average 45 g shorebird requires about 8 g of invertebrate forage per day. Further assuming that each ha of managed shorebird habitat can provide 20 kg of invertebrate food resources available to shorebirds, we extrapolated a need for 2000 ha of shorebird foraging habitat. We suggest that the bulk of this foraging habitat be provided on public lands and that it be distributed throughout the MAV.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Development of management objectives for waterfowl and shorebirds within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley
Year Published 2000
Language English
Publisher U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
Publisher location Ogden, UT
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 281
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Strategies for Bird Conservation: The Partners in Flight Planning Process. Proceedings of the 3rd Partners in Flight Workshop, Cape May, New Jersey, October 1-5, 1995
First page 8
Last page 11