Monitoring and Research
In order to keep our products current and available to our partners the Habitat and Population Evaluation Team conducts biological field activities. These activities are administered in the form of surveys and monitoring of target wildlife species. Click the links below to learn more about the specific projects HAPET is involved in.
Waterfowl Breeding Pair and Production (4 square mile) Survey -The “4 Square Mile Survey” was originally developed by scientists at NPWRC as a means of assessing the contribution of National Wildlife Refuge System land, in the Prairie Pothole Region, to continental waterfowl populations. This survey has been conducted in Region 3 since 1987 and continues presently.
Monitoring Duck Nesting Success - HAPET along with the Minnesota Waterfowl Association conducted duck nest searching and monitoring from 1999 to 2001. The objective of the study was to gather baseline nesting success information to predict duck production across the landscape, develope decision support tools for management activities, and to assess the adequecy of decision support tools.
Predator Population Monitoring - Predators have a direct influence on duck nesting success. Simple knowledge of where certain predator species occur annually within managed landscapes may allow management to target practices that are beneficial to nesting ducks.
Duck Banding - HAPET began its duck banding program in 1994 with the goal of capturing and banding Wood Ducks to learn more about migration, dispersal paterns, social structure, survival rates, reproduction and population growth. Minnesota Waterfowl Association's "Woodie Camp" and the Fergus Falls School District's "Prairie Science Class" were incorporated into the banding program in 2002 and 2003 to educate and motivate youth about the outdoors.
Tree Removal and Grassland Birds - Many grassland bird species refuse to nest in grass patches that are not significantly larger than their territory sizes. The presence of trees in a patch may be leading to the decline in grassland bird populations. HAPET has been engaged in management decisions and monitoring of WPAs that are undergoing tree removal management to assess the impact on grassland bird populations.
Marsh Bird Monitoring Surveys - The changes occuring across the landscapes to wetland habitats increase the need for population estimates of rarely seen secretive marsh birds. HAPET scientists are conducting surveys across northwestern Minnesota in an attempt to establish base numbers for determining population trends, and also to determine the distribution, habitats, and landscapes selected by marsh bird species.
Use of Autonomous Recording Units for Monitoring Yellow Rails and other Nocturnal Wet Meadow Birds - An evaluation of Autonomous Recording Units as an alternative method of monitoring secretive and nocturnal birds.