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Changes in Agriculture and Abundance of Snow Geese Affect Carrying Capacity of Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska

The central Platte River valley (CPRV) in Nebraska, USA, is a key spring‐staging area for approximately 80% of the midcontinent population of sandhill cranes (; hereafter cranes). Evidence that staging cranes acquired less lipid reserves during the 1990s compared to the late 1970s and increases in u... Full description

Journal Title: Journal of Wildlife Management April 2010, Vol.74(3), pp.479-488
Main Author: Pearse, Aaron T.
Other Authors: Krapu, Gary L. , Brandt, David A. , Kinzel, Paul J.
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language:
Subjects:
ID: ISSN: 0022-541X ; E-ISSN: 1937-2817 ; DOI: 10.2193/2008-539
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recordid: wj10.2193/2008-539
title: Changes in Agriculture and Abundance of Snow Geese Affect Carrying Capacity of Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska
format: Article
creator:
  • Pearse, Aaron T.
  • Krapu, Gary L.
  • Brandt, David A.
  • Kinzel, Paul J.
subjects:
  • Agriculture
  • Corn
  • Grus Canadensis
  • Nebraska
  • Platte River
  • Sandhill Cranes
  • Spring Migration
  • Waterfowl
ispartof: Journal of Wildlife Management, April 2010, Vol.74(3), pp.479-488
description: The central Platte River valley (CPRV) in Nebraska, USA, is a key spring‐staging area for approximately 80% of the midcontinent population of sandhill cranes (; hereafter cranes). Evidence that staging cranes acquired less lipid reserves during the 1990s compared to the late 1970s and increases in use of the CPRV by snow geese () prompted us to investigate availability of waste corn and quantify spatial and temporal patterns of crane and waterfowl use of the region. We developed a predictive model to assess impacts of changes in availability of corn and snow goose abundance under past, present, and potential future conditions. Over a hypothetical 60‐day staging period, predicted energy demand of cranes and waterfowl increased 87% between the late 1970s and 1998–2007, primarily because peak abundances of snow geese increased by 650,000 and cranes by 110,000. Compared to spring 1979, corn available when cranes arrived was 20% less in 1998 and 68% less in 1999; consequently, the area of cornfields required to meet crane needs increased from 14,464 ha in 1979 to 32,751 ha in 1998 and 90,559 ha in 1999. Using a pooled estimate of 88 kg/ha from springs 1998–1999 and 2005–2007, the area of cornfields needed to supply food requirements of cranes and waterfowl increased to 65,587 ha and was greatest in the eastern region of the CPRV, where an estimated 54% of cranes, 47% of Canada geese (), 45% of greater white‐fronted geese (), and 46% of snow geese occurred during ground surveys. We estimated that a future reduction of 25% in available corn or cornfields would increase daily foraging flight distances of cranes by 27–38%. Crane use and ability of cranes to store lipid reserves in the CPRV could be reduced substantially if flight distance required to locate adequate corn exceeded a physiological maximum distance cranes could fly in search of food. Options to increase carrying capacity for cranes include increasing accessibility of cornfields by restoring degraded river channels to disperse roosting cranes and increasing wetland availability in the Rainwater Basin to attract snow geese using the CPRV.
language:
source:
identifier: ISSN: 0022-541X ; E-ISSN: 1937-2817 ; DOI: 10.2193/2008-539
fulltext: fulltext
issn:
  • 0022-541X
  • 0022541X
  • 1937-2817
  • 19372817
url: Link


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titleChanges in Agriculture and Abundance of Snow Geese Affect Carrying Capacity of Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska
creatorPearse, Aaron T. ; Krapu, Gary L. ; Brandt, David A. ; Kinzel, Paul J.
ispartofJournal of Wildlife Management, April 2010, Vol.74(3), pp.479-488
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subjectAgriculture ; Corn ; Grus Canadensis ; Nebraska ; Platte River ; Sandhill Cranes ; Spring Migration ; Waterfowl
descriptionThe central Platte River valley (CPRV) in Nebraska, USA, is a key spring‐staging area for approximately 80% of the midcontinent population of sandhill cranes (; hereafter cranes). Evidence that staging cranes acquired less lipid reserves during the 1990s compared to the late 1970s and increases in use of the CPRV by snow geese () prompted us to investigate availability of waste corn and quantify spatial and temporal patterns of crane and waterfowl use of the region. We developed a predictive model to assess impacts of changes in availability of corn and snow goose abundance under past, present, and potential future conditions. Over a hypothetical 60‐day staging period, predicted energy demand of cranes and waterfowl increased 87% between the late 1970s and 1998–2007, primarily because peak abundances of snow geese increased by 650,000 and cranes by 110,000. Compared to spring 1979, corn available when cranes arrived was 20% less in 1998 and 68% less in 1999; consequently, the area of cornfields required to meet crane needs increased from 14,464 ha in 1979 to 32,751 ha in 1998 and 90,559 ha in 1999. Using a pooled estimate of 88 kg/ha from springs 1998–1999 and 2005–2007, the area of cornfields needed to supply food requirements of cranes and waterfowl increased to 65,587 ha and was greatest in the eastern region of the CPRV, where an estimated 54% of cranes, 47% of Canada geese (), 45% of greater white‐fronted geese (), and 46% of snow geese occurred during ground surveys. We estimated that a future reduction of 25% in available corn or cornfields would increase daily foraging flight distances of cranes by 27–38%. Crane use and ability of cranes to store lipid reserves in the CPRV could be reduced substantially if flight distance required to locate adequate corn exceeded a physiological maximum distance cranes could fly in search of food. Options to increase carrying capacity for cranes include increasing accessibility of cornfields by restoring degraded river channels to disperse roosting cranes and increasing wetland availability in the Rainwater Basin to attract snow geese using the CPRV.
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titleChanges in Agriculture and Abundance of Snow Geese Affect Carrying Capacity of Sandhill Cranes in Nebraska
descriptionThe central Platte River valley (CPRV) in Nebraska, USA, is a key spring‐staging area for approximately 80% of the midcontinent population of sandhill cranes (; hereafter cranes). Evidence that staging cranes acquired less lipid reserves during the 1990s compared to the late 1970s and increases in use of the CPRV by snow geese () prompted us to investigate availability of waste corn and quantify spatial and temporal patterns of crane and waterfowl use of the region. We developed a predictive model to assess impacts of changes in availability of corn and snow goose abundance under past, present, and potential future conditions. Over a hypothetical 60‐day staging period, predicted energy demand of cranes and waterfowl increased 87% between the late 1970s and 1998–2007, primarily because peak abundances of snow geese increased by 650,000 and cranes by 110,000. Compared to spring 1979, corn available when cranes arrived was 20% less in 1998 and 68% less in 1999; consequently, the area of cornfields required to meet crane needs increased from 14,464 ha in 1979 to 32,751 ha in 1998 and 90,559 ha in 1999. Using a pooled estimate of 88 kg/ha from springs 1998–1999 and 2005–2007, the area of cornfields needed to supply food requirements of cranes and waterfowl increased to 65,587 ha and was greatest in the eastern region of the CPRV, where an estimated 54% of cranes, 47% of Canada geese (), 45% of greater white‐fronted geese (), and 46% of snow geese occurred during ground surveys. We estimated that a future reduction of 25% in available corn or cornfields would increase daily foraging flight distances of cranes by 27–38%. Crane use and ability of cranes to store lipid reserves in the CPRV could be reduced substantially if flight distance required to locate adequate corn exceeded a physiological maximum distance cranes could fly in search of food. Options to increase carrying capacity for cranes include increasing accessibility of cornfields by restoring degraded river channels to disperse roosting cranes and increasing wetland availability in the Rainwater Basin to attract snow geese using the CPRV.
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abstractThe central Platte River valley (CPRV) in Nebraska, USA, is a key spring‐staging area for approximately 80% of the midcontinent population of sandhill cranes (; hereafter cranes). Evidence that staging cranes acquired less lipid reserves during the 1990s compared to the late 1970s and increases in use of the CPRV by snow geese () prompted us to investigate availability of waste corn and quantify spatial and temporal patterns of crane and waterfowl use of the region. We developed a predictive model to assess impacts of changes in availability of corn and snow goose abundance under past, present, and potential future conditions. Over a hypothetical 60‐day staging period, predicted energy demand of cranes and waterfowl increased 87% between the late 1970s and 1998–2007, primarily because peak abundances of snow geese increased by 650,000 and cranes by 110,000. Compared to spring 1979, corn available when cranes arrived was 20% less in 1998 and 68% less in 1999; consequently, the area of cornfields required to meet crane needs increased from 14,464 ha in 1979 to 32,751 ha in 1998 and 90,559 ha in 1999. Using a pooled estimate of 88 kg/ha from springs 1998–1999 and 2005–2007, the area of cornfields needed to supply food requirements of cranes and waterfowl increased to 65,587 ha and was greatest in the eastern region of the CPRV, where an estimated 54% of cranes, 47% of Canada geese (), 45% of greater white‐fronted geese (), and 46% of snow geese occurred during ground surveys. We estimated that a future reduction of 25% in available corn or cornfields would increase daily foraging flight distances of cranes by 27–38%. Crane use and ability of cranes to store lipid reserves in the CPRV could be reduced substantially if flight distance required to locate adequate corn exceeded a physiological maximum distance cranes could fly in search of food. Options to increase carrying capacity for cranes include increasing accessibility of cornfields by restoring degraded river channels to disperse roosting cranes and increasing wetland availability in the Rainwater Basin to attract snow geese using the CPRV.
copOxford, UK
pubBlackwell Publishing Ltd
doi10.2193/2008-539
pages479-488
date2010-04