Poster Session & Social
4:40 PM - 6:30 PM Wed
POSTER PRESENTER #2 and #3
CO-AUTHORS: Marie Perkins, UW-Stevens Point; Ben Sedinger, UW-Stevens Point; Brad Strobel, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
TITLE: Assessing wood duck (Aix sponsa) health parameters in central Wisconsin
ABSTRACT: Wood ducks (Aix sponsa) are popular game birds abundant throughout North America, making up roughly 10 percent of the annual duck harvest in the U.S.. Health factors such as immune system health and parasite load can contribute to breeding success and a better understanding of these factors is essential for making management decisions that will affect wood ducks and other species that inhabit wetlands. The objectives of this study were to determine the body condition, leukocyte counts, and parasite load of adult and juvenile wood ducks over the course of the 2022 breeding season in Wisconsin. We trapped 67 wood ducks using swim-in traps, walk-in traps, and rocket launchers, recorded their morphometric measurements, and collected blood samples to make blood smears. These smears were analyzed for heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratios in leukocyte counts to measure stress as well as parasite load within the genera Haemoproteus, Plasmodium, and Leucocytozoon. We anticipate our results will better inform land managers of health factors of concern among wood ducks and other wetland species in central Wisconsin, particularly in areas inhabited by parasitic vectors. With this knowledge, managers can decide on necessary actions to manage vector populations and determine whether populations of wetland species in central Wisconsin are healthy compared to populations elsewhere.
CO-AUTHORS: Marie Perkins, UW-Stevens Point; Ben Sedinger, UW-Stevens Point; Andrew Greeenawalt, UW-Stevens Point
TITLE: Using geolocator data to evaluate wood duck (Aix sponsa) breeding propensity and nest success
ABSTRACT: Wood ducks (Aix sponsa) are popular game birds abundant throughout North America, making up roughly 10 percent of annual duck harvest in the U.S.. Monitoring overall breeding success is critical to making management decisions that will insure the continued abundance of the species. The objectives of this study were to determine the breeding propensity, clutch size, and nest success of wood duck hens over the course of the breeding season in Wisconsin. Wood ducks were previously trapped primarily in nest boxes and walk-in traps with geolocators attached with zip ties to plastic tarsal bands. Recovered geolocator light-level data was then analyzed using R to estimate breeding propensity, clutch size, and nest success of wood duck hens. Using geolocator data allows researchers to collect behavioral observations that would not otherwise be possible in an in-person survey. We anticipate our results will better inform land managers of breeding activity of the wood duck population in central Wisconsin, which can assist with recruitment estimations and other monitoring efforts. Monitoring wood duck recruitment efforts can assist managers in determining which wetlands provide the best habitat for chick rearing and identify which wetlands would benefit from additional management.
BIO: Shannon Finnerty grew up in Gainesville, Florida. Inspired by the state’s biodiversity and her love for nature, she decided to pursue a career in natural resources and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation from the University of Florida. Afterward, she worked seasonally with different conservation agencies before moving to Wisconsin for her Master’s degree program at UW-Stevens Point.