A project of Environment Canada - Atlantic and Québec Regions in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.
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Surf Scoters are one of the least studied species of waterfowl in North America. They breed throughout the boreal forest and appear to have higher densities in western Canada, Alaska, Ontario and Québec. Based on available evidence from telemetry and banding studies, it is likely that the population can be divided into eastern and western subpopulations with very low rates of dispersal between them. Information on moult areas, migration corridors and winter areas associated with breeding populations is increasing but is still incomplete for both the eastern and western populations.
In eastern North America sub-adult and adult male Surf Scoters moult in large aggregations along the remote coasts of The Gulf of St. Lawrence, Labrador, Hudson's and James Bays, and possibly Ungava Bay. Our telemetry study was initiated at a moult site south of Nain, Labrador, Canada.
This study was conducted by the Canadian Wildlife Service, and is one of several projects funded by the Sea Duck Joint Venture to improve our understanding of the delineation of sea duck populations across North America.
There were two main components to the project. 1) detailed study of male Surf Scoter behaviour during moult, and 2) identifying the timing of bird movements among breeding ranges, migration routes, moulting and wintering areas.
The primary partners for the behavioural study were Environment Canada and McGill University, and the primary partners for the movement study were Environment Canada and the USGS. Logistic support and local expertise was provided by Sikumiut Environmental Ltd.
Links to Partner projects:
Gus Dicker, Sikumiut Environmental Ltd.
Glenn Olsen & Matt Perry, USGS
Rodger Titman & Mark O'Conner, McGill University
Scott Gilliland, Keith McAloney & Eric Reed, Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service
Jean-Pierre Savard, Environment Canada, Science & Technology
The Vision of the Sea Duck Joint Venture (SDJV) is to maintain sustainable populations of North American sea ducks throughout their ranges. The goals of the SDJV promote development of short and long-term information gathering programs to determine basic parameters of sea duck populations, such as delineation of ranges and subunits, abundance and trends, production, harvest, and survival rates.
Much of the emphasis in the first few years of the Sea Duck Joint Venture (SDJV) has been on population delineation, and satellite telemetry has been the primary tool used to identify breeding ranges, migration routes, molting and wintering areas, and timing of bird movements among these areas.