A low intensity sampling method for assessing blue crab abundance at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and preliminary results on the relationship of blue crab abundance to whooping crane winter mortality

By: , and 
Edited by: Martin J. Folk and Stephen A. Nesbitt

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Abstract

We sampled blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) in marshes on the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, Texas from 1997 to 2005 to determine whether whooping crane (Grus americana) mortality was related to the availability of this food source. For four years, 1997 - 2001, we sampled monthly from the fall through the spring. From these data, we developed a reduced sampling effort method that adequately characterized crab abundance and reduced the potential for disturbance to the cranes. Four additional years of data were collected with the reduced sampling effort methods. Yearly variation in crab numbers was high, ranging from a low of 0.1 crabs to a high of 3.4 crabs per 100-m transect section. Mortality among adult cranes was inversely related to crab abundance. We found no relationship between crab abundance and mortality among juvenile cranes, possibly as a result of a smaller population size of juveniles compared to adults.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title A low intensity sampling method for assessing blue crab abundance at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge and preliminary results on the relationship of blue crab abundance to whooping crane winter mortality
ISBN 978-0-9659324-1-7
Year Published 2008
Language English
Publisher North American Crane Working Group
Contributing office(s) National Wetlands Research Center, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Description 12 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Proceedings of the tenth North American crane workshop
First page 13
Last page 24
Conference Title Tenth North American Crane Workshop
Conference Location Zacatecas City, Mexico
Conference Date February 7-10, 2006
Country United States
State Texas
Other Geospatial Aransas National Wildlife Refuge