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Migration stopover ecology of cinnamon teal in western North America

February 23, 2022

Identifying migration routes and fall stopover sites of cinnamon teal (Spatula cyanoptera septentrionalium) can provide a spatial guide to management and conservation efforts, and address vulnerabilities in wetland networks that support migratory waterbirds. Using high spatio-temporal resolution GSM-GPS transmitters, we tracked the fall migration of 61 cinnamon teal across western North America over three years (2017-2019). We marked cinnamon teal primarily during spring/summer in important breeding and molting regions across seven states (California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and Nevada). We assessed migration routes and timing, detected 261 fall stopover sites, and identified specific ecoregions where sites were located. We classified underlying habitats within a five km radius for each stopover site, and measured habitat selection for 12 habitat types within each of seven ecoregions. Cinnamon teal selected a variety of flooded habitats including natural, managed, and riparian wetlands; flooded agriculture (including ditches); lakes and reservoirs; and urban ponds. Patterns of habitat use, whether selection for or avoidance of, were always in concurrence among ecoregions where patterns were statistically significant with one exception. In the Northwestern Forested Mountains ecoregion, riparian systems were statistically avoided but similar habitats were selected for in the more arid North American Deserts and Temperate Sierras ecoregions as well as when averaged across all individuals and ecoregions. The high variety of resources used by cinnamon teal reflect wetland availability across the west, and further emphasize adaptability to dynamic resource conditions in arid landscapes. Reliance on potentially sub-optimal wetland habitat (golf course water features and agricultural ditches) may be indicative of a lack of suitable wetland habitats across the western landscape. Our results provide much needed information on spatial and temporal resource use by cinnamon teal during migration and indicate important wetland habitats for migrating waterfowl in the western United States.

These data support the following publication:
Mackell, D.A., Casazza, M.L., Overton, C.T., Donnelly, J.P., Olson, D., McDuie, F., Ackerman, J.T., and Eadie, J. M., 2021. Migration stopover ecology of Cinnamon Teal in western North America. Ecology and Evolution, pp.1-14.

Publication Year 2022
Title Migration stopover ecology of cinnamon teal in western North America
DOI 10.5066/P99L4XJ5
Authors Desmond A Mackell, Michael L Casazza, Cory T Overton, John P Donnelly, Donald W Olson, Fiona P Mcduie, Josh T Ackerman, John M. Eadie
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center - Headquarters