Talk: Wildlife Implications of Changing Winter Severity in the Great Lakes Basin
October 4, 2017
Morrill Science Center
UMass Amherst Campus
As part of the Northeast Climate Science Center seminar series, Michael Notaro, Christopher Hoving, and Michael Schummer present “Wildlife Implications of Changing Winter Severity in the Great Lake Basin: Collaborative Investigation to Guide Regional Adaptation Planning.”
Part One Presented by Michael Notaro: An investigation was performed of the potential impacts of changing weather severity on waterfowl migration, aimed at achieving actionable science to guide the decisions of resource managers. The Northeast Climate Science Center-supported project consisted of a collaborative effort among researchers and stakeholders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, State University of New York at Oswego, Long Point Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Delayed autumn-winter migration was projected for all species, with the least delays for the Northern Pintail and the greatest delays for the Mallard. Implications of these changes in migratory behavior on food resources, wetland restoration, hunting, and birdwatching were explored.
Part Two Presented by Michael Schummer: Each year, millions of waterfowl migrate from their breeding grounds in Arctic, northern and mid-latitudes of North America to more southern locales to exploit abundant food and wetland resources as freezing wetlands and snowfall progress north to south. These migrating birds consume and distribute an abundance of seeds and invertebrates, are a cultural resource for waterfowl watchers and hunters, and provide economic benefit through the activities of waterfowl enthusiasts. Recognition of the tangible and intangible importance of this diverse group of birds by waterfowl enthusiasts also gave rise to substantial international efforts to conserve wetlands and associated habitats throughout North America.