Waterfowl Studies

The number of waterfowl species (ducks, geese, shorebirds) has varied within a range of 30-40 per year during the past 5 years of surveys (Figure 1a).  The variation in total numbers relates to the infrequent occurrence of migratory species more than changes in habitat availability.

The number of individual Canada geese has declined steadily over the past 5 years (Figure 1a).  This trend is probably a continuation of a decade-long decline which is opposite the trend of non-geese waterfowl.  The decline in goose numbers may be related to loss of preferred grass habitats as a result of operational changes such as reduced mowing frequency.

Assays for contaminated geese have generally been negative over the past 5 years, with the exception of 1998.  During that year, a flock of 30+ contaminated geese was located during the round-up in July at the ORNL facility and  sacrificed (Figure 1b).

Figure 1. (a) Numbers of Canada geese and other waterfowl observed per survey and number of species observed per year, 1995-1999 and (b) numbers of Canada geese rounded-up and released on-site, translocated off-site, and sacrificed, 1995-1999.

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Last Modified: April 17, 2001