Habitat and Population Evaluation Team
Midwest Region

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Who We Are

What We Do

Biological Field Activities

Strategic Management Tools
and Mapping Products

Conservation Plans

Contact Us

Habitat and Population Evaluation Team
18965 County Hwy 82 S
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
Phone: 218-739-2291

Strategic Management Tools and Mapping Products:

Predicted Duck Pair Accessibility Maps  ("Thunderstorm" Maps)


Waterfowl Breeding Pair Distribution Map, Minnesota and Iowa

Breeding Pair Accessibility Maps are produced from long-term 4 square mile survey data. They are commonly known as “Thunderstorm Maps” because of a perceived resemblance to a Doppler radar image of a thunderstorm. Thunderstorm maps display predictions of the number of upland nesting ducks pairs (mallards, blue-winged teal, gadwall, northern pintail, and northern shoveler) that could potentially nest in the upland portion of every 40 acre block of the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of Minnesota and Iowa. These predictions are based on the known maximum travel distances of hens from wetlands to their nest sites, and regressions (statistical models) created from 4 square mile survey data predicting the number of ducks pairs that utilize every individual wetland in PPR during a “typical” breeding season.
          Thunderstorm maps are used to help identify priority sites for the protection or restoration of grassland habitats for breeding waterfowl. They are also useful in identifying priority wetland complexes to be protected through acquisition of Waterfowl Protection Areas and easements, and to be enhanced by private lands wetland restorations.
Click here to view maps

For additional information on thunderstorm maps and other strategic decision support tools for waterfowl conservation, contact:

Dan Hertel
Habitat and Population Evaluation Team
US Fish and Wildlife Service
18965 County Hwy. 82 S
Fergus Falls, Minnesota USA


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Last updated: July 10, 2008