Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Biology

Supervisor(s)

Scott A. Petrie

Abstract

Climate change may influence autumn and winter distributions of dabbling ducks throughout the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways of North America. To determine how weather and photoperiod influenced autumn-winter abundances of dabbling ducks at staging areas in eastern North America, I modeled weather and photoperiod variables with rate of change in relative abundance of various dabbling duck species over space and time. Latitude was incorporated into models to determine if changes in duck abundance in relation to weather severity were influenced by locale. Changes in abundance were best described by weather models incorporating temperature and snowfall variables for all species except blue-winged teal (Anas discors), which was best explained by photoperiod. Latitude was present in all top models for all study species. My findings aid wildlife management efforts in predicting potential changes in the non-breeding distribution of ducks resulting from climate change.


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