Assessing river habitat selection by waterfowl wintering in the South Platte River, Colorado
- 46 Downloads
We assessed river habitat selection of waterfowl wintering in the South Platte River below the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District treatment plant in Adams County, Colorado to determine potential impacts of proposed river channel modifications. Daily mean number of waterfowl was 711 per km of river over the study area, and 19 species of waterfowl were observed. We describe use of a resource selection model to evaluate whether a habitat type is selected more than expected based on its availability. Habitat selection indices indicated that Canada geese (Branta canadensis) used all habitats in proportion to their availability. Dabbling ducks selected large pools, secondary channels, riffles and sandbars, avoided smaller pools and islands, and used runs in proportion to their availability. Diving ducks selected large pools, small pools, and runs; they avoided secondary channels, riffles, sandbars, and islands. Due to different habitat preferences between diving and dabbling ducks, changes that alter river habitat structure may favor some species and not benefit others. The optimum way to maintain diversity and abundance of waterfowl wintering in the South Platte River is to maintain a variety of habitat types.
Key WordsColorado habitat selection South Platte River waterfowl winter
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Allen A.W. 1987. Habitat suitability index models: mallard (winter habitat, Lower Mississippi Valley). U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, DC, USA. Biological Report 82(10.132).Google Scholar
- Anderson, B.W. and R.O. Ohmart. 1988. Structure of the winter duck community on the lower Colorado River: patterns and processes. p. 191–236.In M.W. Weller (ed.) Waterfowl in Winter. University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, MN, USA.Google Scholar
- Chabreck, R.H., R.K. Yancey, and L. McNease. 1974. Duck usage of management units in the Louisiana Coastal Marsh. Proceedings of the Southeastern Association of Game and Fish Commissioners 28:507–516.Google Scholar
- Manly, B.F.J., L.L. McDonald, and D.L. Thomas. 1993. Resource Selection by Animals. Chapman and Hall, New York NY, USA.Google Scholar
- Ringelman, J.K. and M.R. Szymczak. 1989. Habitat use by wintering mallards along the Front Range of Colorado. Colorado Division of Wildlife. Fort Collins, CO, USA. Job Progress Report Project 01-03-212 (W-88-R).Google Scholar
- Schmal, R.N., S.J. Kozel, and S.S. Marsh, 1990. A basin-wide inventory approach using channel type and habitat type classification system for resident trout. U.S. Forest Service, Medicine Bow National Forest, Laramie, WY, USA.Google Scholar
- Simpson, P.W., J.R. Newman, M.A. Keirn, R.M. Matter, and P.A. Guthrie. 1982. Manual of stream channelization impacts on fish and wildlife. Environmental Science and Engineering, Inc., Gainesville, FL, USA.Google Scholar
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1986. Ambient water quality criteria for dissolved oxygen. Washington, DC, USA. EPA 440/5-86-003.Google Scholar
- U.S. Forest Service. 1985. Development of a database for basinwide stream inventory using Lotus 1-2-3—a PC application. U.S. Forest Service, Medicine Bow National Forest, Laramie, WY, USA.Google Scholar
- White, D.H. and D. James. 1978. Differential use of fresh water environments by wintering waterfowl of coastal Texas. Wilson Bulletin 90:99–111.Google Scholar