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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE UPDATES & CHANGES: As a result of the prolonged government shutdown, we experienced a number of cancellations and changes to the schedule. Cancellations and changes are listed here (as of January 26, 2019). 

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Wetland [clear filter]
Monday, January 28

10:40am EST

(WILDLIFE: WETLAND CONSERVATION) Marsh Bird Use of Wetlands Managed for Waterfowl in Illinois
AUTHORS: Therin Bradshaw, Western Illinois University/Illinois Natural History Survey - Forbes Biological Station; Cheyenne Beach, Western Illinois University; Heath Hagy, US Fish & Wildlife Service; Christopher Jacques, Western Illinois University; Abigail Blake-Bradshaw, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Joseph Lancaster, Illinois Natural History Survey - Forbes Biological Station

ABSTRACT: Marsh birds are an understudied guild of migratory birds of conservation concern that can be valuable indicators of wetland health and may benefit from wetland management for waterfowl. I assessed marsh bird occupancy of wetlands across Illinois to better understand how natural wetland characteristics, impoundment management for waterfowl, and surrounding landscape characteristics influence marsh bird occupancy of wetlands. During late spring and early summer 2015–2017, I surveyed marsh birds three times annually at focal sites (passive or active management for waterfowl), random sites (emergent, pond, or lake polygons from the National Wetland Inventory), and Critical Trends Assessment Program (CTAP) sites (wetlands from the Illinois Natural History Survey’s CTAP). Marsh bird occupancy was greatest during my first survey period (Ψ=0.71, SE=0.11), followed by my second (Ψ=0.55, SE=0.14) and third survey periods (Ψ=0.39, SE=0.14). Focal (Ψ=0.74, SE= 0.09) sites had greater occupancy than random (Ψ=0.62, SE=0.08) or CTAP sites (Ψ=0.32, SE=0.11). Occupancy also varied by wetland complexity (greatest in the large levels of complexity [Ψ= 0.99, SE= 0.02]), waterfowl management intensity (greatest at an intermediate level of management [Ψ=0.39, SE=0.178]), percent wetland area inundated (greatest in large area of inundation [Ψ=0.74, SE=0.089]), and percent cover of persistent emergent vegetation (greatest with large percent persistent emergent vegetation cover [Ψ=0.81, SE=0.148]). Across species and marsh bird groups, detection probability decreased with ordinal date, for every week delay in marsh bird survey detection declined 7.1% (SE=2.1). Our results suggest that waterfowl habitat management positively influence marsh bird occupancy. Occupancy increased with management practices that were less intensive and focused on keeping water on the landscape with little disturbance to encourage habitat characteristics such as high habitat complexity, large area inundation and high percent cover of dense persistent emergent vegetation.

Monday January 28, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST

11:00am EST

(WILDLIFE: WETLAND CONSERVATION) Habitat Relationships of Virginia Rails and Soras in Impounded Marshes Within the Western Lake Erie Basin of Ohio
AUTHORS: Nicole Hengst, The Ohio State University; James Hansen, The Ohio State University; Brendan Shirkey, Winous Point Marsh Conservancy; John Simpson, Winous Point Marsh Conservancy; Robert Gates, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Secretive marsh bird populations are threatened by habitat loss throughout their ranges. In Ohio, Virginia rails (Rallus limicola) and soras (Porzana carolina) are species of concern and legally harvested. Very little work has been conducted to understand movements and habitat selection by Virginia rails and soras in coastal wetlands of the western Lake Erie basin. Managed wetlands are an important source of rail habitat in Ohio, yet little is known about how manipulation of water levels to produce food and cover for waterfowl affects migrating and breeding rails. Virginia rails and soras were captured and fitted with VHF radio-transmitters and tracked daily during March-September, 2016-2018. Twenty-seven percent of radio-marked rails migrated or dispersed from the study site within 1-2 days of capture in May-August. Mean home range sizes were 6.51 and 3.67 ha (SE = 1.40, n = 57 and SE = 0.95, n = 7) for Virginia rails and soras, respectively. Of the 166 radio-marked rails that remained at the study site at least one day after capture, 138 used only one impoundment unit at the study site. This allowed us to examine movement patterns of Virginia rails and soras in response to water level changes during 2016-2018. Vegetation surveys were conducted in 2018 to compare differences in habitat characteristics between locations of radio-marked rails and random points and to identify wetland habitat characteristics that rails select for as water levels change. Vegetation surveys were conducted weekly at individual radio-locations and at the end of the growing season within home ranges of radio-marked rails. Twenty-two percent of the weekly surveys indicated rails using areas dominated by cattail (Typha spp.) with water cover <40% and medium interspersion. This work will provide additional understanding of rail ecology and aid in better informed wetland management for rail species in northern Ohio.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:00am - 11:20am EST

11:40am EST

(WILDLIFE: WETLAND CONSERVATION) A Field Study Assessing Effects of Neonicotinoid Insecticides to Aquatic Invertebrates: Implications for Wetland-Dependent Taxa
AUTHORS: Kyle Kuechle, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources; Elisabeth B. Webb, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources; Doreen Mengel, Missouri Department of Conservation, Resource Science Division; Anson Main, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources.

ABSTRACT: Neonicotinoid insecticides (NI) are commonly used as seed-treatments on major agricultural row crops (e.g., corn). Indeed, neonicotinoid treated agricultural crops are often planted directly in floodplain wetlands managed for wildlife, specifically waterfowl. Numerous studies have documented impacts of neonicotinoids to aquatic invertebrates in laboratory and mesocosm settings; however, there is limited information on impacts to aquatic invertebrate in field settings. We investigated invertebrate community response to planting of neonicotinoid-treated seed in managed wetland ecosystems in Missouri. In 2016, we sampled water, sediment, and aquatic invertebrates from 22 paired wetlands during spring (pre-wetland drawdown) and fall (post-wetland flood-up) followed by a third sampling period (spring 2017). During summer, portions of study wetlands were planted with either neonicotinoid-treated corn or untreated corn (control). Water and sediment concentrations of the three most common neonicotinoids were used to calculate overall NI toxicity equivalents (NI-EQs) based on an additive model of NI toxic equivalency factors. Mean total NI-EQs for sediment (0.60 μg/kg) were an order of magnitude greater than water (0.02 μg/L). Water quality parameters and pesticide concentrations were used to evaluate effects of neonicotinoid concentrations on aquatic macroinvertebrates using a series of generalized linear mixed effects models. Preliminary results indicate an overall decrease in aquatic invertebrate diversity and abundance with increasing NI-EQs in both wetland water and sediments. Post-treatment, treated wetlands had lower benthic invertebrate diversity and abundance compared to untreated wetlands, but a recovery in abundance and diversity followed in spring 2017. Our results have implications for aquatic invertebrates and wetland-dependant species (e.g., migrating birds) as neonicotinoid concentrations, although below regulatory limits, are impacting wetland ecosystems. Research results will be useful to wetland managers in making decisions regarding use of neonicotinoid seed-treatments, specifically, and potentially, provide broader considerations of the role agriculture may play in future wetland management and conservation plans.

Monday January 28, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST

1:20pm EST

(WILDLIFE: WATERFOWL) Habitat Heterogeneity and Wetland-dependent Bird Use in Wisconsin's Glacial Habitat Restoration Area
AUTHORS: Zack Loken, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point; Jacob Straub, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point; Rachel Schultz, State University of New York at Brockport

ABSTRACT: The Glacial Habitat Restoration Area (GHRA) is a 558,879-acre restoration zone in east-central Wisconsin. The GHRA was designed to enhance wildlife habitat, especially for waterbirds, through wetland restorations. We observed and counted all waterbirds on wetland basins from April – May of 2017 and 2018 using fixed location focal scans. We categorized study wetlands into 3 groups based on hydrologic modification: scrape; scrape plus wetlands with ditch plug, ditch-fill, and/or tile break; and scrape plus berm and/or berm with a water control structure. Two reference groups were included: Waterfowl Production Areas and unmodified sites without basins. Wetland plant communities were categorized following the Natural Heritage Inventory database, mapped using aerial imagery, and field checked for accuracy. After plant communities had been digitized, habitat heterogeneity was assessed within each wetland property using an interspersion-juxtaposition index (IJI). Greater values of IJI indicated that community types were more evenly dispersed throughout the wetland than areas with large blocks of similar vegetation. Wetlands with diverse habitat types distributed throughout their basins may be more attractive to waterfowl than those with a homogenous composition. Analysis of year-one data found that habitat heterogeneity, of the 38 properties, ranged from 17.7 to 85.5 and differed among hydrologic modification categories (P = 0.04). Data from year two is currently undergoing analysis. Our results will be used to assess landscape scale factors that might influence the use of restored wetlands by wetland-dependent bird species.

Monday January 28, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST

1:40pm EST

(WILDLIFE: WATERFOWL) Stopover Duration and Habitat Use of Spring Migrating Dabbling Ducks in the Wabash River Valley
AUTHORS: Benjamin R. Williams, Thomas J. Benson – Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Aaron P. Yetter, Joseph D. Lancaster – Forbes Biological Station, Illinois Natural History Survey, University of Illinois; Heath M. Hagy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: Spring migration is an important and often under-studied period of the waterfowl annual cycle. Stopover sites along migration routes contain habitats and resources required by waterfowl to rest and refuel before continuing north to the breeding grounds.  The Wabash River Valley (WRV) in southeastern Illinois provides habitat for over 500,000 dabbling ducks each spring.  Despite the heavy use of this region, information regarding stopover duration and habitat use of waterfowl is lacking.  Stopover duration, or the length of time an individual spends in a distinct region, is an important metric for waterfowl managers to consider while planning for the needs and required resources of migrating birds.  Stopover duration for mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and green-winged teal (Anas crecca) was approximately 17 days (95% CI:  12.6–22.9 days).  This is shorter than current estimates used by conservation planners and may shift objectives.  Additionally, mallards and green-winged teal used emergent and woody wetland habitat at rates highly disproportional to the availability of those habitats on the landscape.  Both species tended to avoid sites with greater amounts of agriculture in the surrounding landscape, while sites surrounded by greater amounts of open water, upland forest, and upland grassland were more likely to be used.  There was also a considerable amount of use in areas under conservation easements, suggesting the importance of these easements in waterfowl management.  All of this information will help land managers and conservation planners direct funding to the most important habitats in the WRV and ensure sufficient resources for waterfowl utilizing the region each spring.

Monday January 28, 2019 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-06) Beaver as a Provider of Ecological Services for Fish and Wildlife
AUTHORS: Kerry Fitzpatrick, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Through their dam-building and feeding activities, beaver alter the hydrology, channel morphology, biogeochemical pathways, and community productivity of streams. The literature documents that streams with beaver are substantially different from those without beaver: • Beaver are a primary disturbance regime in northern hemisphere forests. They create wetlands, forest openings, and early successional patches in what would otherwise be mature forest.• Beaver ponds increase riparian habitat, create favorable conditions for aquatic plants, and sub-irrigate nearby vegetation. Riparian plant communities are biologically more diverse in the presence of beaver.• Beaver create conditions, favorable for an entire suite of wildlife species, that are in limited supply in streams without beaver. For some wildlife, beaver-created habitat is essential to maintain a large portion of their populations.• Beaver have been shown to reduce peak flood levels, maintain flow during droughts, and reduce the variability of flow compared to streams without beaver dams.• Water that flows out of beaver dams has lower turbidity and sediment levels than that entering ponds, resulting in cleaner substrates downstream than would occur without beaver.• The stair-step profile of streams with beaver have a lower kinetic gradient, which reduces scouring and erosion. Streams with a history of beaver are more braided, wider, and have larger and deeper pools.• Streams with beaver capture and process organic matter more efficiently and closer to its source than streams without beaver. High nutrient levels and solar exposure yield the high productivity associated with beaver ponds and meadows.• Water passing through beaver ponds has an elevated acid neutralizing capacity, which can modify the pH of water originating from acidic sources such as peat bogs, conifer forests, or tannic streams.Beaver are increasingly being used as an economical stream restoration tool. This presentation outlines the rationale for maintaining or re-introducing beaver for the ecological services they provide.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST

2:20pm EST

(WILDLIFE: WATERFOWL) Spring Food Habits of Green-winged Teal in Illinois
AUTHORS: Samuel T. Klimas, Western Illinois University; Joshua M. Osborn, Auburn University; Heath M. Hagy, US Fish & Wildlife Service; Christopher N. Jacques, Western Illinois University; Joseph D. Lancaster, Illinois Natural History Survey; Sean E. Jenkins, Western Illinois University; and Aaron P. Yetter, Illinois Natural History Survey

ABSTRACT: The Illinois River Valley (IRV) provides critical stopover habitat for migrating waterfowl during spring and autumn. Because spring migration is an important time for waterfowl as they enhance body condition in preparation for the breeding grounds, the UMRGLR Joint Venture relies on the IRV and other migratory focal areas in Illinois to protect, maintain, enhance, and restore more than 80,000 ha of wetland habitats for waterfowl. Green-winged teal (GWTE; Anas crecca) usually rank in the top 4 species in the Illinois duck harvest, and primarily consume natural foods during migration, often selecting for seeds and invertebrates over agricultural grains. In order to provide current information on wetland habitat needs for GWTE to wetland and natural resource managers, we experimentally collected foraging GWTE during the spring in the IRV from the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers extending north to Hennepin, Illinois, during springs 2016–2018. We removed upper digestive tracts and estimated food availability (benthic and nektonic samples) at foraging sites to evaluate food use and 4<sup>th</sup> order selection. We analyzed diets from the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract (proventriculus and esophagus), as well as gizzards. Further, we performed proximate analysis on the teal carcasses to analyze body condition in relation to diet. We will discuss overall food use and selection by GWTE, as well as preferences of plant and invertebrate taxa in comparison with food availability.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST

2:40pm EST

(WILDLIFE: WATERFOWL) Stepping down a Regional Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation Decision Support Tool
AUTHORS: Matthew D. Palumbo, Jacob N. Straub – University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT: The goals of the 2012 North American Waterfowl Management Plan target a combination of biological and social objectives that are prioritized regionally through Joint Venture (JV) partnerships. The Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes (UMRGLR) JV developed a decision support tool (DST) to assist in implementing these objectives. The DST is based on six spatially explicit model-based maps, each representing a biological or social objective weighted by input from regional decision makers. The DST depicts areas of relative value to meet the combined six objectives and therefore identifies areas for regional managers to target conservation for waterfowl and people. In 1992 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources developed their own state-based conservation plan to achieve waterfowl population and habitat objectives.  This ‘WI Plan’ was based on a spatial hierarchy of priority regions, areas, and townships that were delineated from estimated waterfowl densities and habitat, geo-political boundaries, and expert opinion. Since 1992 managers have been working to implement conservation practices based on this system. However much has changed since this time thus, our objective was to revise the 92 WI Plan and provide an updated spatially-explicit tool to drive waterfowl habitat conservation efforts in the upcoming decades. Using the framework of UMRGLR JV, we developed six updated model-based maps representing waterfowl and human objectives specific to Wisconsin.  These maps have allowed WI conservation managers to visualize how conservation practices would be prioritized under various ranks of biological and social values. The WI DST will assist state managers with redistributing priority regions based on eco-physiographic boundaries and quantitative ranking based on the underlying biological and social data of the tool. The DST of UMRGL JV and WI demonstrate the value of incorporating spatio-temporal variation of biological and social data for conservation managers to prioritize practices.

Monday January 28, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST
Tuesday, January 29

10:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Wetland Habitat and Bird Population Changes over Time: the Dynamics of Coastal Wetlands
AUTHORS: John Simpson, Winous Point Marsh Conservancy

ABSTRACT: The lower Great Lakes region has experienced one of the greatest rates of wetland loss in North America. The remaining coastal wetlands, though naturally resilient and dynamic, are subjected to a wide variety of anthropogenic stressors, and losses in both quantity and quality continue. Using western Lake Erie as an example, we can trace changes in wetland habitat and losses since European settlement through a variety of historical records, including changes in wetland-bird, plant abundances and assemblages, and waterfowl populations. While the Great Lakes wetlands remain still under threat, many groups are attempting to restore and protect wetlands throughout the basin and great interest is currently being placed on the role wetlands could possibly have in reducing and mitigating harmful algal blooms that are occurring throughout the lower Great Lakes system.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 10:20am - 10:40am EST

10:40am EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Evolution of Wetland Conservation and Policy: Developing Programs and Partnerships
AUTHORS: Steven A. Gray, Retired Ohio Division of Wildlife; Gildo M. Tori, Ducks Unlimited; David Brakhage, Ducks Unlimited;

ABSTRACT: Wetland conservation in the Lower Great Lakes region occurred shortly after European settlement.  The rich marshes provide excellent waterfowl hunting, spurring the growth of private duck hunting clubs, maintained and managed the land for hunting, fishing and trapping. These early sportsmen spawned the development of early conservation groups like Ducks Unlimited and state Fish and Wildlife Agencies in the early 1900s.  With the initiation of funding mechanisms like duck stamps, hunting licenses and excise taxes on sporting equipment, lands were purchased as state and national wildlife areas and opened to the general public for outdoor recreation.  As populations expanded, conservation became more sophisticated with the development of flyway councils to regulate harvest of migratory birds, but conservation of habitats did not keep pace.  As a result the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and habitat joint ventures was born aimed at dramatically increasing wetlands and associated habitats throughout North America.  Subsequent policy efforts created the North American Wetlands Conservation Act in 1989, which encouraged partnerships and provided federal grants to advance conservation.  The lower Great Lakes region was a focal area and received many grants to facilitate wetland restoration, on both public and private lands.  The 1985 and 1991 Farm Bills created programs such as the Conservation and Wetland Reserve Programs that conserved soil, water and wildlife.However, wetland loss and need continued to grow. In May 2004 President George Bush issued an Executive Order, which recognized the Great Lakes as a "national treasure” and in 2010, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was launched out of the collaboration, and President Barack Obama and Congress provided federal funding to support habitat conservation efforts.This presentation will focus on the historical development, challenges and opportunities, and advancement of wetland conservation in the lower Great Lakes region.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST

11:20am EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Great Black Swamp Region of Northwestern Ohio
AUTHORS: Matthew Kovach, Tara Baranowski – The Nature Conservancy

ABSTRACT: Ohio has lost over 90% of its wetlands with the majority of that loss occurring in the Great Black Swamp region of northwestern Ohio. The Nature Conservancy and many other partners are working to restore this important habitat. The restoration of wetland plant communities differs based upon the site specific conditions present: Hydrological reconnection types and regimes, Lake Erie water level fluctuations, native sediment loss and alteration, watershed dynamics and historical landscape alterations, climate change implications, coastal erosional processes, and wetland mitigation. This work also varies based upon the ultimate goals of the restoration. This presentation will discuss how all of those factors play into The Nature Conservancy’s work to restore and create native wetland plant communities and the benefits and tradeoffs associated with that work.   

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST

11:40am EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-08) A Decade of Privately Owned Wetland Restorations in the Lake Erie Marsh Focus Area
AUTHORS: Jeff Finn, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Mark Witt, Ohio Division of Wildlife, Joe Uhinck, Ottawa County Soil and Water Conservation District

ABSTRACT: The wetland habitat of the Western Basin of Lake Erie has endured significant loss since the settlement of Europeans in the area. Some estimates put the loss at over 90%. The area is listed as a crucial element in the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan and significant in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Joint Venture plans of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The importance of coastal and interior wetlands has become increasingly apparent due to recent water quality issues within the Western Basin of Lake Erie. There are a variety of agencies and organizations that have been working together to restore wetlands within the Lake Erie Marsh Focus Area. Ohio Division of Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, and Ottawa County Soil and Water Conservation District have worked together to create a cumulative effect that is transforming much of this area from farmed or degraded land, to productive wetland habitat. Accomplishments are often measured on an annual basis, taking a snapshot of what has occurred within a given year. The cumulative effect of restoration efforts is not readily apparent unless one takes the time to capture and quantify what each organization or agency has accomplished over a longer period of time. The most important factor may not be the influx of government agencies but the willingness of landowners to restore wetland habitat on privately owned land. What motivates each of these landowners can be vastly different. Monetary incentives, recreational opportunities like hunting and trapping, or simply having a conservation ethic to restore habitat are all drivers that motivate landowners to restore habitat.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Waterfowl Ecology and Management in the Lower Great Lakes
AUTHORS: Matthew Palumbo, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Jacob Straub, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, David Luukkonen, Michigan State University; John Coluccy, Ducks Unlimited

ABSTRACT: Abstract: Applied scientific research has been an underpinning of sound waterfowl and wetland conservation for decades. The Lower Great Lakes (LGL), especially wetland and adjacent upland habitats near Lakes Erie, St. Clair, and Ontario, were historically and remain a critical region for waterfowl of the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways. In fact, hundreds of thousands of waterfowl use this landscape as their primary breeding location and millions use the resources of the region during migration between breeding and wintering areas. Waterfowl managers and researchers in the LGL have strong partnerships and have largely focused efforts in this region on studies that improve understanding of the overall ecology of the species and how management actions can influence these birds. Specifically, the LGL have been the home to seminal studies on waterfowl bioenergetic modeling during spring migration, habitat use and movement for key focal species (e.g., mallards), monitoring and evaluation of diving sea duck distributions on the Great Lakes, studying the potential limiting factors for Great Lakes mallard populations, and influence of weather, wetland availability, and mallard abundance on productivity of Great Lakes mallards. Importantly, these studies have critical linkages to management which have serviced wetlands conservation. Our objective is to synthesize recent research that has improved our understanding of waterfowl ecology and habitat management in the region. Additionally, we will identify future research needs and information gaps to expand waterfowl conservation in the LGL.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) The Ohio Dragonfly Survey: Citizen Science and INaturalist
AUTHORS: MaLisa Spring, Norman Johnson – The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Dragonflies and damselflies are predatory arthropods that are reliant on aquatic habitats in both their immature and adult forms. Ohio is home to 170 species of dragonflies and damselflies. Of these, 23 are state-listed as endangered, threatened, or species of concern. The Ohio Dragonfly Survey is a citizen-science group documenting all species across the state to get a better understanding of the current distribution patterns and phenology. Thanks to the help of dedicated naturalists, we compiled over new 30,000 records in iNaturalist to incorporate into the survey. To date, 806 different users have contributed data via iNaturalist. Of these, 42 individuals contributed at least 100 observations to the survey. Odonata experts verify these observations, and a majority of the observations have reached research grade. Hundreds of new county records have been reported which have significantly expanded the known distribution of several species (Dythemis velox, Enallagma traviatum westfalli, Libellula incesta). Many species are still poorly documented, with several known from only a single county in Ohio: Aeshna interrupta, Calopteryx angustipennis, Enallagma anna, Enallagma doubledayi, Erithrodiplax miniscula, Hylogomphus abbreviatus, Leucorrhinia proxima, Libellula flavida, Somatochlora incurvata, Somatochlora kennedyi, and Tramea calverti.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST

1:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-12) What Makes for a Good Restoration Project
AUTHORS: Devin Schenk, The Nature Conservancy

ABSTRACT: There is a lot of interest and effort spent on stream and wetland restoration across the nation. Restoring these aquatic systems is widely recognized as a positive countermeasure to past landuse impacts and degradation; however, research has found that restoration failures are pervasive. It is therefore critical for practitioners, land managers, grantors, and decision-makers to be able to recognize the common challenges associated with stream and wetland restoration and what a successful project looks like. This talk will take a categorical stroll through the restoration landscape providing insight into ,what to look for in determining the goals of a restoration project, assessing a site’s restoration potential, evaluating its design, and measuring its success.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 1:20pm - 1:40pm EST

1:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Recent Advancements in Our Understanding of Secretive Marshbirds in the Lower Great Lakes
AUTHORS: Brendan Shirkey, WInous Point Marsh Conservancy, Doug Tozier, Bird Studies Canada, Mike Monfils, Michigan Natural Features Inventory

ABSTRACT: Historically, wetland research and management in the lower Great Lakes region has focused on waterfowl given the vested human interest and continental significance of the area as migratory stopover habitat. Recently, additional research focused on secretive marshbirds (e.g., king rails, yellow rails, Virginia rails, sora, least bitterns and American bitters) has gained momentum. Unlike waterfowl populations that are at historically high levels, many secretive marshbird species have experienced significant population decline in the past several decades. However, due to the extremely limited amount of research and secretive nature of many of these bird species, population trend data is lacking and any understanding of habitat associations that might be causing population declines is nonexistent. Many state and federal agencies as well as NGO’s have begun to work collaboratively throughout the Great Lakes region to monitor secretive marshbird populations to fill some of these knowledge gaps. The objectives of this presentation are to: 1) summarize historical marshbird research in the region, 2) highlight recent research that has improved our understanding of secretive marshbirds in the region, and 3) identify future research and information needed to improve our conservation of secretive marshbirds in the lower Great Lakes region. We hope that a continued to effort to understand the life history and habitat associations of secretive marshbirds will ultimately lead to improved habitat management with the potential to benefit waterfowl and simultaneously other wetland-dependent birds and wildlife, including secretive marshbirds.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST

1:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-12) The Importance of Soil Health in Ecological Restoration
AUTHORS: Bill Schumacher, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency

ABSTRACT: Frequently, stream and wetland restoration projects pay little attention to on-site historical disturbances to soils. However, an accumulating amount of research points to substrate disturbance as one of the primary causes of site failure. Investigations of several restoration projects have indicated that in many cases, when there is a failure in site hydrology and/or plant community development, a specific underlying soil disturbance, such as changes in physical soil properties or excessive nutrient buildup, can be identified. Diagnosing these potential disturbances prior to selection or construction is essential to ensuring that site development is not hampered by these underlying issues.This talk will focus on research conducted by the Ohio EPA Wetland Ecology Group on soils, in both reference and disturbed wetland and riparian habitats. Several studies have been conducted since 2011 that focus of soils as they relate to the overall ecological condition of a site. These include: 1) An intensification of the USEPA National Wetland Condition Assessment, in which a random set of 50 wetlands was assessed to compare soil factors with the overall ecological condition of the plant community; 2) A survey of reference condition riparian habitats to correlate high quality riverine flora with soil health; and 3) A paired soils study, in which identical mapped soils were analyzed in undisturbed forest habitats and adjacent heavily disturbed row cropping to illustrate variation in soil parameters between divergent levels of disturbance.Results of these studies will be discussed to illustrate how consideration of soil information may be used to assist in in the development of restoration projects.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 1:40pm - 2:00pm EST

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) Ecology and Management of Fall and Spring Migrating Shorebirds in the Western Basin of Lake Erie
AUTHORS: Robert J. Gates, Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources; Mark Shieldcastle, Black Swamp Bird Observatory; David Ewert, American Bird Conservancy; Keith Norris, The Wildlife Society; Tara Baranowski, The Nature Conservancy in Ohio

ABSTRACT: The Lake Erie Marsh region, long recognized as a continentally significant migratory crossroad for waterfowl and other migratory birds with a rich tradition of waterfowl hunting was recognized as a regionally significant migration staging area by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN).  Nomination as a WHSRN site was based on counts of 38 shorebird species with minimum known numbers >100,000 birds, compiled from standardized surveys by Black Swamp Bird Observatory during 1993-1999.  Repeated surveys of random plots during springs and autumns 2002-2003 revealed shorebird populations that exceeded 100,000 birds on and near just two major marsh complexes (Winous Point Marsh Conservancy and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge - Magee Marsh Wildlife Area) in the Lake Erie marsh region.   Shorebird habitats in the region principally comprise managed impoundments where water levels are manipulated to produce food and cover for waterfowl and create hunting opportunity.  Managed marshes were the mainstay for shorebirds during autumn and spring migration in 2002-2003, although estuaries attracted large numbers during seiche events.  Surrounding crop fields were used sporadically after precipitation events in spring but were generally too vegetated to attract shorebirds in autumn.  Four shorebird species gained 0.28–1.49 g body mass/day with invertebrate biomass densities that ranged from 3.7–12.1 kg/ha during fall migration 2006-2013.  Estimated stopover durations were 12-16 days.  The Lake Erie marsh region likely merits WHSRN status as an internationally important shorebird area.  Results from our studies are used to inform habitat conservation planning and management by state and federal agencies and NGOs in the region.  We discuss gaps in our knowledge of migrating shorebirds in the region, including spring vs. fall habitat limitation and energetic carrying capacities of cover types used by migrating shorebirds.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) Fishes of Ohio Inventory and Distribution Project
AUTHORS: Brian J. Zimmerman, The Ohio State University; Dan Rice, (retired) Division of Natural Areas and Preserves (ODNR); Marc R. Kibbey, The Ohio State University; Marymegan Daly, PhD, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Milton Trautman’s classic book, “The Fishes of Ohio,” was published in 1981 and did an excellent job presenting the distribution and status of Ohio’s fish fauna at the time. In subsequent decades, fish communities of Ohio have changed in composition and distribution. In 2011, we began an inventory of the current status of all fish species found in Ohio. Some of these changes we have documented are positive, including the large scale expansion of many species of riverine fish that have been characterized as sensitive to water quality. Other changes point towards declines, particularly in species reliant on wetland or glacial lake habitats. In addition to trends in distribution and abundance of native species, we see significant impact in the occurrence of non-indigenous species that were not documented by Trautman. The results of the 2011-2017 distribution surveys are summarized in our 2018 field guide “A Naturalist Guide to the Fishes of Ohio” by Dan Rice and Brian Zimmerman.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST

2:00pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-12) Keys to Successfully Establishing a Native Plant Community on Wetland and Stream Restoration Projects
AUTHORS: Brian Gara, The Nature Conservancy

ABSTRACT: Plants are outstanding indicators of environmental quality. Extremely small variations in physical site parameters, such as water depth and duration, soil health, and temperature can lead to significant differences in the plant community structure. Many plant species have very narrow ranges of tolerances to these factors which result in extreme habitat affinities. Others are generalists that can thrive under a wide range of habitat types and disturbances. Unfortunately, a majority of the more undesirable, non-native, “invasive” species, are highly adapted to sites that are heavily disturbed by human activities. In most cases, restoration projects involve sites that have been subjected historically to significant levels of anthropogenic disturbance. These projects are also exposed to a high level of mechanical disturbance during construction. Additionally, many riparian restoration projects have limited performance goals that only target the planting of tree species, disregarding the other critical strata (e.g. shrubs and herbs) generally present within native plant communities. This practice severely reduces the long-term habitat potential for these sites. Because of these limitations, establishing a robust, diverse, and sustainable native plant community on restoration projects can be challenging.Several research studies have been conducted by the author that focus on the ecological condition of the plant communities associated with riparian and wetland restoration projects. Results of these studies will be discussed to focus on key factors that can be implemented to ensure a functional, native plant community is successfully established.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST

2:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-12) Restoring Wetland Habitat for Amphibian Communities
AUTHORS: Mick Micacchion, The Nature Conservancy

ABSTRACT: The wetlands that support amphibian breeding and habitat functions are being lost at a much higher rate than wetlands of other types. This is true for both urban and rural landscapes. These damages do not always directly impact the wetlands themselves but instead involve solely large-scale degradation of the habitats surrounding the wetlands. However, both direct and indirect impacts are debilitating to the wetlands’ amphibian communities. Additionally, far too often the lost amphibian community functions of wetlands are not being replaced through compensatory wetland mitigation or other wetland restoration and enhancement projects. Restoring wetland amphibian functions requires many considerations. By far, the most important factor is the location of the replacement wetland and ensuring there is the ability for it to interact with nearby surrounding habitat features that are supportive of wetland amphibian communities. Sites should be targeted toward areas where adjoining intact, high quality vernal pools are present and there is the ability to restore wetlands on surrounding hydric soils. Additionally, it is important to incorporate the attributes displayed by the area’s best remaining vernal pools in the restoration wetlands. These habitat components include seasonal hydroperiods, shallow slopes to the pools, supportive microtopographic features, and establishing connection to natural vernal pools, and their forested surrounding habitats, through reforestation. In the end, high quality complexes of forested landscapes that contain fully functional vernal pools, with exceptional amphibian communities, will result when the above considerations are the basis for wetland restoration and enhancement projects.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST

2:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-10) Aquatic Ecosystem Conservation
AUTHORS: S. Mažeika P. Sullivan, The Ohio State University

ABSTRACT: Ohio’s stream, river, and wetland ecosystems have been subjected to multiple environmental stressors (e.g., changes in climate and land-use; alterations in stream hydrogeomorphic processes; ecosystem contaminants and nutrient enrichment, etc.). These changes can affect aquatic communities and ecosystems in myriad and interactive ways, with rare and endangered species particularly susceptible. The Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership (OBCP) has been an effective mechanism in supporting and catalyzing applied research that directly informs conservation, restoration, and management of rare fish species, aquatic communities, and ecosystem function. Here, I overview specific examples of linked research-conservation activities supported by OBCP and how they have contributed to improved aquatic ecosystem health (e.g., impacts of dam removal, linkages between fluvial geomorphology and aquatic communities, rare fish propagation and reintroduction). I also highlight additional advantages of OBCP in the context of aquatic resources including training and diversifying undergraduate and graduate students, leveraging for federal funding, and increasing science communication.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 2:40pm - 3:00pm EST

3:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-08) The Effect of Hydrological Restoration on Nutrient Concentrations and Macroinvertebrate Communities in Lake Erie Coastal Wetlands
AUTHORS: Elizabeth A. Berg, Lauren M. Pintor – Ohio State University, School of Environment & Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Growing concern over the occurrence of harmful algal blooms has prompted efforts to reconnect coastal wetlands to Lake Erie and its tributaries in order to restore ecosystem functions and provide biodiversity support. In particular, stakeholders have collaborated to hydrologically reconnect approximately 2,397 acres of protected, diked wetlands in Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge in an effort to reduce nutrient inputs from the Maumee Area of Concern and improve habitat for economically important fisheries and wildlife. However, hydrologic connection to Lake Erie and impaired tributaries within the watershed may expose biota in previously diked wetlands to new stressors such as nutrient enrichment and invasion of non-native species. Here we examined the effect of hydrologic reconnection of diked wetlands on nutrient concentrations and macroinvertebrate biodiversity. Specifically, our objectives were to: 1) compare phosphorous and nitrogen concentrations between diked and reconnected wetlands,  2) compare taxonomic and functional trait diversity of macroinvertebrates between diked and reconnected wetlands, and 3) examine the relationships between nutrients and macroinvertebrate communities. If the reconnection of coastal wetlands had an effect on nutrient levels and macroinvertebrate communities, we predicted that 1) nutrients and macroinvertebrates would differ in reconnected and diked wetlands, and 2) macroinvertebrate communities would be impaired in wetlands with higher nutrient concentrations. We found total nitrogen was lower in reconnected wetlands, but total phosphorus was similar in reconnected and diked wetlands. All macroinvertebrate taxonomic metrics and most functional metrics were similar in reconnected and diked wetlands. Nutrient concentration gradients and yearly nutrient fluctuation, rather than wetland restoration, drove shifts in macroinvertebrate community structure.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST

3:20pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-12) Working with the United States Army Corps of Engineers for Aquatic Resource Restoration and Enhancement
AUTHORS: Cory Wilson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District

ABSTRACT: Aquatic resource restoration and enhancement projects, though beneficial, are often subject to the United States Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) regulatory authority under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. This portion of the symposium will provide a general overview of these Acts and the types of activities that do, and do not, require Department of the Army permits. In addition, a description of the typical Corps permitting/approval mechanisms for implementing these types of projects will be provided (e.g. Nationwide Permits and Mitigation Banking Instruments). Finally, a summary of the Ohio Stream and Wetland Valuation Metric and the Ohio Interagency Review Team guidelines for stream and wetland mitigation banking and in-lieu fee programs in the State of Ohio will be provided. Participants in this symposium will gain a general understanding of the requirements and tools necessary for implementing aquatic resource restoration and enhancement projects under the Corps regulatory authority.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST

3:20pm EST

(WILDLIFE: UPLAND 2) Does Land Management Have Detectable Effects on Species Richness?
AUTHORS: Jay Vecchiet, Richard B. King – Northern Illinois University

ABSTRACT: Agencies across the United States rely on data driven management practices. Whether or not those practices are successful can be ambiguous because variables other than management also shape population and community responses. Here, we test whether the effects of preserve size, preserve land cover, surrounding land cover, habitat quality, and management history have a detectable effect on species richness. We focus on amphibians and reptiles in grassland-dominated preserves in northern Illinois.  Species lists were compiled for 15 preserves ranging in size from 7 ha to 1460 ha. Habitat quality and land cover (open water, wetland, grassland, wooded, agriculture) of all preserves were analyzed using ArcMap 10.4.1. Preserves were also classified by age, prior land use, and intensity of management actions (seeding, prescribed fire, chemical and mechanical controls). Across preserves, a total of 31 amphibian and reptile species were documented, including 8 frogs and toads, 2 salamanders, 2 lizards, 6 turtles, and 13 snakes. Of these, 7 are considered Endangered, Threatened, or Species in Greatest Conservation Need in Illinois. As management is carried out, there are obvious positive effects on the environment (soil composition, plant communities, water quality), but demonstrating a positive effect on organisms with cryptic life histories, such as amphibians and reptiles, is challenging.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:20pm - 3:40pm EST

3:40pm EST

(WILDLIFE: TURTLES) Survivability of Head-Started Blanding’s Turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) In Canada’s Rouge National Urban Park
AUTHORS: Katherine Wright, Crystal Robertson, Paul Yannuzzi, Shannon Ritchie, Andrew Lentini, Bob Johnson, Rick Vos – Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme, Toronto Zoo

ABSTRACT: A head-start program for Blanding’s turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) was launched in 2012 by Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme and partners in an effort to recover a local population in the Rouge National Urban Park (RNUP). As per a Population Viability Analysis (PVA) in 2013, reaching a self-sustaining population required raising 50 turtles per year for two years each at a 60 female: 40 male ratio over 20 years. The head-start turtles are incubated and raised in a protected zoo environment, which includes a month in outdoor enclosures to acclimate to natural conditions. Then, a soft-release enclosure is used with half of the cohort for in-situ to acclimate to their new wetland prior to release into the wild, while a hard-release method is used for the other half (no in-situ acclimation). The release site is known habitat for Blanding’s turtles and is in close proximity to travel corridors, though many head-start turtles remain in the wetland area in which they were released. No significant difference has been observed between home ranges of soft- and hard-release turtles. The number of turtles released per cohort has increased each year (2014: 10, 2015: 21, 2016: 36, 2017: 49, and 2018: 49), as have cumulative survival rates (2018 data is still being incorporated). Survival, movement, and habitat use patterns are monitored by radio tracking a subset of turtles from each release cohort, which occurs three times per week from May-August and once per month from December-April. The number of tracked turtles from each cohort changes yearly as more turtles are released. In 2018, a total of 48 turtles were tracked out of the 165 that have been released to date. This long-term project will use adaptive management to improve husbandry, field research, habitat restoration and community outreach as the project progresses.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST

4:40pm EST

(SYMPOSIA-12) Restoring Streams, Wetlands, & Floodplains in an Agricultural Landscape
AUTHORS: Amy Brennan, Lake Erie Conservation Director for The Nature Conservancy; Jessica D'Ambrosio, Western Lake Erie Basin Agriculture Director for The Nature Conservancy

ABSTRACT: The Nature Conservancy will share lessons learned and partnerships necessary to restore wetlands, floodplains and streams throughout the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) to reduce nutrient loads to Lake Erie and her tributaries and restore natural infrastructure throughout the Western Lake Erie Basin.  TNC is working with conservation and agricultural community partners to restore natural infrastructure, including wetlands, riparian corridors, and floodplains in the Western Lake Erie Basin to expand, improve, and connect wildlife habitat.  TNC established a goal of restoring 1% of the agricultural acres in the WLEB to natural infrastructure – wetlands, floodplains and riparian corridors that help to manage nutrients and water more effectively.  We have completed initial modeling and mapping to identify the highest nutrient loading areas, best areas for restoring wetlands, and watersheds where stream improvement is likely if nutrients are reduced.  We are currently working with partners on 6 restoration sites from engineering and design to full implementation to convert 500 acres of current agricultural lands to natural wetlands, riparian corridors and floodplains.  In order to reach our goal of restoring 1% (56,000 acres) of agricultural lands, we will continue to engage and support partners and systematically build partnerships to scale up our restoration activities.   This involves a combination of mapping to identify project areas and target areas that will have the most impact on downstream resources, building capacity among our traditional and nontraditional conservation partners and completion of engineering and design for restoration projects.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 4:40pm - 5:00pm EST

6:00pm EST

(P84) True Metabolizable Energy of Submersed Aquatic Vegetation for Gadwall
AUTHORS. Margaret Gross, Western Illinois University/Illinois Natural History Survey - Forbes Biological Station; Heath Hagy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Christopher Jacques, Western Illinois University; John Simpson, Winous Point Marsh Conservancy; Sean Jenkins, Western Illinois University; J. Brian Davis, Mississippi State University; Joseph Lancaster, Illinois Natural History Survey - Forbes Biological Station; Aaron Yetter, Illinois Natural History Survey - Forbes Biological Station

ABSTRACT. Wetland vegetation communities provide critical foraging habitat for waterfowl, but many of the historical wetlands in the United States have been lost throughout the last two hundred years. The loss of wetlands has led to substantial declines in submersed aquatic vegetation species, which are important foods of waterfowl and other wildlife. Unfortunately, there is a lack of information about the implications of these losses on energetic carrying capacity for waterfowl, especially ducks. Waterfowl managers typically estimate the energetic carrying capacity for a wetland by using bioenergetics models. These models incorporate several parameters that predict energy demand, including population size, stopover duration, and the energetic value (i.e. true metabolizable energy) of foods available to ducks. Of these parameters, energetic carrying capacity models are especially sensitive to true metabolizable energy values, however, very few true metabolizable energy estimates are available for submersed aquatic vegetation. Most available true metabolizable energy values are from plant seeds and have only been estimated for a couple waterfowl species that do not primarily consume aquatic vegetation. I estimated TME<sub>N</sub> (true metabolizable energy corrected for non-dietary nitrogenous compounds) values of six common species of submersed aquatic vegetation for gadwall in order to parameterize energetic carrying capacity models and better understand the value of emergent marshes for ducks. Vegetation species was the most important predictor of true metabolizable values (mean ± SE; kcal/g[dry]) of submersed aquatic vegetation (Myriophyllum spicatum, 0.77 ± 0.32; Elodea Canadensis, 0.70 ± 0.31; Ceratophyllum demersum, 0.55 ± 0.28; Najas guadalupensis, –0.61 ± 0.34; Vallisneria americana, –0.98 ± 0.39; Stuckenia pectinata, –1.07 ± 0.33), but both sex and mass of birds was also influential.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm EST
  Poster, Wetland

6:00pm EST

(P85) Using a Plasma Lipid Metabolite Index to Evaluate Spring Migration Stopover Habitat for Wild Canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) in Illinois
AUTHORS. Andrew F. Bouton, Western Illinois University; Eric J. Smith, Western Illinois University; Heath M. Hagy, US Fish and Wildlife Service; Michael J. Anteau, US Geological Survey; Randy V. Smith, Illinois Department of Natural Resources; Christopher N. Jacques, Western Illinois University,

ABSTRACT. Wetland loss and degradation in stopover areas can lead to declining food resources, which in turn has implications for migratory waterfowl populations.  The spring condition hypothesis states that migratory stopover areas are vital for acquiring nutrients necessary for nesting and egg production.  Lipid metabolite (i.e., triglyceride [TRIG], beta-hydroxybutyrate [BOHB]) concentrations of blood plasma can provide a useful index of daily mass change in wild birds and can be used to assess forage quality of stopover sites.  We evaluated an index of foraging habitat quality by measuring plasma lipid metabolite levels and daily mass change of wild canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria) held in short-term captivity for feeding (n = 30) and fasting trials (n = 30) on 60 individuals.  We collected two blood samples from each bird (i.e., 0 and 24 hr) and measured metabolite concentrations using established assay procedures.  We tube-fed birds selected for the feeding trial every 4 hours for a 24-hour period and provided only water for fasting birds over the same period.  Respectively, TRIG and BOHB were positively and negatively related to mass change (Results not yet finalized).  Our analysis revealed that sex was not an important predictor of daily mass change.  We used our index to predict changes in lipid reserves of birds collected experimentally from across the Upper Mississippi River and the Illinois River Valleys.  Our analyses indicated that canvasbacks gained weight across the Upper Mississippi River and Illinois River Valley, suggesting that these areas had sufficient forage resources to provide nutrients for canvasbacks during spring migration.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm EST
  Poster, Wetland

6:00pm EST

(P86) Using Plasma-lipid Metabolites to Index Mass Changes in Birds: Are Triglycerides More Indicative of Energy Income Than Deposition?
AUTHORS. Eric Smith, Western Illinois University; Michael Anteau, U.S. Geological Survey; Heath Hagy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Christopher Jacques, Western Illinois University

ABSTRACT. During spring migration, energy acquisition and storage are important for survival during resource-limited periods, endurance flights, and reproduction. Plasma-lipid metabolites (triglyceride [TRIG], β-hydroxybutyrate [BOHB]) have been used to index changes in lipid reserves over short-time periods, thus have utility for assessing foraging habitat quality at stopover sites. However, such an index may be affected by energetic maintenance costs and further validation under experimental conditions is needed to understand potential sources of variation. We evaluated a previous index using wild lesser scaup (Aythya affinis; hereafter scaup) held in short-term captivity (24 hr) during spring migration through Illinois, USA. β-hydroxybutyrate was negatively associated and TRIG was positively associated with changes in body mass (R<sup>2</sup> = 0.68). Our BOHB slope estimate was nearly identical to one published previously on free-living scaup. However, effects of TRIG differed from free-living scaup and varied by sex, with females having a greater slope. Our results suggest that TRIG is a better measure of energy income than deposition because TRIG slopes appear to be sensitive to energetic maintenance costs. In contrast, BOHB appears to be reliable in predicting negative mass change which is consistent with previous findings. Despite differences in TRIG slopes, our cross-validation process using z-standardized predictions from captive and free-living scaup corresponded well and there was no directional bias (r<sup>2</sup> = 0.79). Sexual differences in apparent lipid deposition rates warrant further research before a generalizable model is advisable for comparing mass change predictions across studies. However, if predictions are standardized it appears this technique is generally robust to variations in energy income vs. deposition. Our evaluation provides verification for the utility of plasma-lipid metabolites as an indicator of short-term mass change and as a potential index of foraging habitat quality.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm EST
  Poster, Wetland
Wednesday, January 30

10:40am EST

(CANCELLED) (SYMPOSIA-14) Wetlands as Common Ground for Fish and Wildlife: Identifying Challenges and Opportunities
AUTHORS: Elisabeth B. Webb, U.S. Geological Survey, Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

ABSTRACT: Wetlands are one of the few ecosystems that provide habitat for both fish and wildlife; therefore, wetland ecosystems are unique in both their ecological communities and the management practices used to promote these communities. As wetlands are biologically and hydrologically diverse, they are highly productive ecosystems, which can meet the life-history needs for a wide a variety of avian, amphibian, mammal and fish species. However, due to the ephemeral nature of wetland habitats and substantial rates of wetland loss across North America, incorporating wetland management practices that provide habitats for and meet the life-history needs of the entire suite of wetland dependent taxa remains a challenge. Here, I will discuss a range of wetland management practices, such as water-level manipulation, prescribed burning and mowing, used to promote specific species or taxa, and the subsequent impacts experienced by other wetland-dependent species. In particular, the phenology of these wetland management practices and hydrogeomorphology of the wetlands in which they are applied, are important considerations in managing wetlands for both fish and wildlife. I will also cover monitoring techniques that can be used to concurrently sample wetlands for both fish and wildlife. Information on fish and wildlife species presence within a wetland is important to not only evaluate the effectiveness of management practices, but to further identify opportunities for future multi-taxa wetland management.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:40am - 11:00am EST

10:50am EST

(WILDLIFE: LIGHTNING TALK) Using Environmental DNA to Determine Rail Occupancy and Track Migration
AUTHORS: Anastasia Rahlin, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Mark Davis, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Matthew Niemiller, University of Alabama in Huntsville

ABSTRACT: Wetland fragments in Illinois support over 100 bird species, 15 of which are state threatened and endangered. Wetland birds are of particular concern under the Illinois State Wildlife Action Plan due to the lack of information about their population sizes and distributions. Traditional playback methods fall short in elucidating cryptic wetland bird occupancy due to small body sizes, infrequent vocalizations, and unique habitat requirements. In this study, we investigated whether environmental DNA (eDNA) methods could be used to detect multiple rail species, and also hypothesized that taking environmental DNA samples over time would allow us to temporally track rail migration. We collected and filtered water samples from four sites from northern Illinois. We collected and purified DNA from filters using a Qiagen DNeasy kit, and quantified extracts on a Qubit 3.0 fluorometer. We amplified a short fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 locus using newly designed degenerate bird primers. We positively detected eDNA in our samples, with Qubit concentrations ranging from 1.30 ng/ml to 80.3 ng/ml. As expected, negative control samples collected in the field yielded no eDNA. Degenerate primers positively detected GBHE and SORA DNA extracted from liver controls, with band fragment sizes of approximately 125 base pairs. Degenerate primers also yielded multiple ~125 bp bands, showing strong evidence for wetland bird DNA detection from eDNA samples. Samples were sequenced on a MiSeq using degenerate bird and vertebrate primers. We focused on analyzing Illumina sequencing data for four species: Sora, King Rail, Virginia Rail, and Least Bittern. Our analyses yielded positive detections for multiple rail species. Least Bitterns were not detected. Ongoing work focuses on adding sampling sites in northern Illinois, increasing sampling duration, and taking soil eDNA samples.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 10:50am - 11:00am EST

11:20am EST

(WILDLIFE: AVIAN) Bald Eagle Nest-site Selection Along the Upper Mississippi River, 1990-2012
AUTHORS: Benjamin W. Tjepkes, Stuart C. Fetherston, Scott E. Hygnstrom – Wisconsin Center for Wildlife, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Brian J. Stemper, Stephen L. Winter – Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ABSTRACT: The overall population of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) has increased in range and size across much of North America, since they were listed as a federally Threatened Species in the 1970’s.  This increase likely is due in part to the efforts of several federal and state wildlife management agencies in protecting nest sites, an important factor in raptor reproduction.  We studied nest-site selection in bald eagles along the 420-km long Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge using survey data from 1990 – 2012.  Spatial analyses were conducted on known active nest locations using a GIS to develop several metrics relating to bald eagle nesting ecology (e.g., distance to water, surrounding cover type, patch size) and several disturbance metrics (e.g., distance to navigable channel, distance to road).  These metrics will then be used to build a mixed-effects resource selection function under a use-availability design for this population.  This information will increase the understanding of how bald eagles occupy habitats along the Upper Mississippi River in relation to habitat features and human activities, further contributing to the effective management of this species.

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:20am - 11:40am EST

11:40am EST

(WILDLIFE: AVIAN) Estimating Shorebird Abundance and Distribution Through Aerial Surveys in the Illinois River Valley
AUTHORS: Luke J. Malanchuk, Michael P. Ward – Illinois Natural History Survey; Heath M. Hagy, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service; Aaron P. Yetter, Forbes Biological Station, Frank C. Bellrose Waterfowl Research Center

ABSTRACT: The Illinois River Valley (IRV) serves as a crucial stopover area for migratory shorebirds in the midwestern United States despite the high prevalence of row crop agriculture and extensive  wetland loss and degradation in the region. Aerial surveys are commonly used to quantify waterfowl abundance and estimate population size, but few attempts have been made to evaluate aerial surveys for other guilds of wetland birds. We investigated whether aerial surveys may provide a good estimate of shorebird use of stopover sites in the IRV. During July-September 2017-2018, and April-May 2018, we conducted concurrent ground and aerial surveys at 5-7 sites per week. Additionally, a single observer counted and assigned all shorebird detections to either "large" (Killdeer (Charadrius vociferous) and larger) or "small" (Pectoral sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) and smaller) size classes, and recorded wetland habitat characteristics at a total of 96 surveyed sites in the IRV. The use of ground counts each survey allows for the calculation of aerial detection probability count bias, while using habitat data of the specific count location from the ground as a correction factor. Aerial surveys detected 89% (N = 93, Range = 0%-250%) of individuals counted during ground surveys. The total number of shorebirds counted in the IRV each week ranged from 1,705 to 30,290, with an average of 10,025 birds. Aerial surveys appear to be an accurate and efficient method to quantifying shorebird abundance along large-river systems. Future plans include questions associated with stopover duration and which species are present in the IRV. 

Wednesday January 30, 2019 11:40am - 12:00pm EST

Filter sessions
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  • Main Agenda Item
  • Poster
  • S01: Using Standardized Assessments to Evaluate Harvest Regulations: Advancing Science-Based Fisheries Management
  • S02: Eastern Massasauga Conservation - Management - Recovery
  • S03: Application of environmental DNA-based tools for aquatic invasive species monitoring and management
  • S04: Great Lakes Trophic Structure: Innovations and ongoing studies of predatory fishes
  • S05: Migratory wildlife collisions with manmade structures: monitoring - prevention - patterns from collision data
  • S06: Considering New Paradigms in the Management of Beaver - Trout - Riparian Habitats
  • S07: Use of Acoustic Telemetry to Inform Fisheries Management Across Midwestern US and Canada
  • S08: Science in service to wetlands conservation and wildlife management in the lower Great Lakes region: history - status - state of the art
  • S09: Carbon Dioxide As An Aquatic Resource Management Tool
  • S10: The Ohio Biodiversity Conservation Partnership: An Innovative University-State Agency Partnership for Conservation in Ohio
  • S11: Dreissenid Mussels: Advancements in control - detection - management - biology
  • S12: Reading the aquatic landscape and connecting restoration design
  • S13: Sea Grant role in communicating needs to inform research and conservation
  • S14: Bridging the Gap between Fish and Wildlife: Discussions on Multi-Species Interactions and Ecosystem Stability
  • S15: Collaborating with community members: the human side of fish and wildlife management and research
  • S16: Agriculture and Wildlife Coexistence in the Midwest United States
  • Student Event
  • T01: Fisheries: Great Lakes I
  • T02: Wildlife: Urban-Wildlife Conflict
  • T03: Fisheries: Behavior & Physiology
  • T04: Wildlife: Wetland Conservation
  • T05: Lightning Talk Session: Fisheries
  • T06: Human Dimensions: Fisheries I
  • T07: Fisheries: Rivers & Streams
  • T08: Wildlife: Waterfowl
  • T09: Human Dimensions: Wildlife
  • T10: Fisheries: Invasive Species I
  • T11: Fisheries: Fish Conservation
  • T12: Wildlife: Cervids
  • T13: Fisheries: Habitat
  • T14: Fisheries: Great Lakes II
  • T15: Fisheries: Lakes & Reservoirs
  • T16: Fisheries: Invertebrates
  • T17: Wildlife: Mammals
  • T18: Human Dimensions: Policy & Engagement
  • T19: Fisheries: Early Life History
  • T20: Wildlife: Upland I
  • T21: Fisheries: Invasive Species II
  • T22: Wildlife: Turtles
  • T23: Fisheries: Big Rivers
  • T24: Wildlife: Upland II
  • T25: Fisheries: Techniques
  • T26: Fisheries: Invasive Species III
  • T27: Wildlife: Avian
  • T28: Lightning Talk Session: Wildlife
  • T29: Human Dimensions: Fisheries II
  • Workshop