JV Projects

Pectoral Sandpiper, photo by Noppadol Paothong

Shiawassee Flats Floodplain Wetland Restoration Project

This project, funded via the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative- Joint Venture Habitat Restoration and Protection program, restored 141 acres of former wetland in the floodplain of the Flint River at Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge in Saginaw County, Michigan. New water control structures were installed, subsurface drainage tiles were broken, and low-level berms were constructed on the project site. This will allow managers to emulate the natural hydrology of the area and provide additional habitat for the abundant waterfowl, shorebirds, and other wetland-dependent wildlife and fish that are present at the refuge. Partners for this project include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited, the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network, and the Shiawassee Flats Citizens and Hunters Association. To learn more about this project, click here.

Foraging ecology of fall migrating shorebirds in the Illinois River Valley

Principle Investigator: Joshua Stafford (IL Natural History Survey)

Data analysis was completed in 2010 for this study (funded by the JV Flex Funds Program) of body condition, foraging habitat, and diet selection by fall migrating Killdeer, Least and Pectoral Sandpipers, and Lesser Yellowlegs.  Results indicated 3 of 4 species were in good to excellent condition, with Killdeer having lower than expected fat scores.  Shorebird diets were dominated by Diptera (flies) and Coleoptera (beetles), but abundant Oligochaeta (aquatic worms) appeared to be avoided.  Food/habitat available on this river system was considered excellent when water levels were appropriate, and researchers speculate the region may support substantially larger shorebird populations.  However, unpredictable hydrology may lead to seasonal habitat deficits and stress. For more information about this project, contact us.

Black Duck satellite radio (PTT) telemetry study: examining local and geographic habitat use patterns over the annual life cycle and connections among significant biomes

Principle Investigators: Tina Yerkes (Ducks Unlimited) and Jake Bowman (University of DE)

This JV-funded project, completed in 2009, investigated American Black Duck habitat use, timing, and stop-over duration during migration and winter.  Although only ½ of the 68 transmitters functioned through the complete spring migration period, researchers identified important black duck wintering and staging areas leading to improved decision-making with respect to ongoing habitat protection and management.  Information regarding chronology and duration of stay (use days) will be used in conjunction with energetic carrying capacity models to refine JV waterfowl habitat objectives for the non-breeding period.  A better understanding of PTT technology and Black Duck settling and breeding habitat was gained through this work. For more information about this project, contact us.

All bird photos on this website courtesy of Noppadol Paothong www.nopnatureimages.com