Heath M. Hagy

Rapid Yield Estimation Methods for Unharvested Rice Cultivated for Migrating and Wintering Waterfowl

SEAFWA Journal Volume 11, March 2024

Land managers in the southeastern United States cultivate rice (Oryza sativa) to provide calorie-dense forage for autumn-migrating and wintering waterfowl and other migratory birds. Conservation planners require accurate yield estimates for rice and other energy-rich croplands to parameterize bioenergetic models and support data-driven, adaptive resource management efforts. We developed a rapid method to efficiently estimate rice yield and quantified associated precision, accuracy, sampling time, and operating costs in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (n = 16 fields). We...

Effects of Alligatorweed Control in Seasonal Wetlands Managed for Waterfowl

SEAFWA Journal Volume 9, March 2022

Wildlife managers commonly use herbicides to control invasive plant species and maintain early-successional vegetation communities in seasonally flooded moist-soil wetlands. However, there is limited information on how herbicides influence plant and animal communities following application. Thus, we investigated the response of vegetation, food density, and the abundance and activities of dabbling ducks (Anatini) to application of imazapyr herbicide in moist-soil wetlands in Tennessee to control invasive alligatorweed (Alternanthera philoxeroides). Imazapyr...

Wintering Waterfowl Habitat Use and Food Dynamics in Moist-soil Wetlands of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley

In some regions used by nonbreeding waterfowl, conservation planners assume that food may be a limiting factor for waterfowl populations, and carrying capacity estimates are based on food availability. Conservation planners require precise estimates of parameters used in carrying capacity models, including characterizations of waterfowl diets, temporal trends in food availability in response to management actions, and estimation of a food availability threshold (FAT; i.e., food density when foraging becomes unprofitable because energy expended during or risk of continued searching...

Effective Strategies to Monitor, Manage, and Ensure Compliance on Wetlands Reserve Program Conservation Easements to Benefit Wildlife

Conservation easements provide an important tool for agencies and organizations to protect environmentally sensitive areas and improve environmental quality. The Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (i.e., Farm Bill) established the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) with goals to “protect, restore, and enhance the functions and values of wetland ecosystems.” Since 1990, WRP objectives have expanded to include 1) provision of habitat for migratory birds and other wetland-dependent wildlife, 2) protection and improvement of water quality, and 3) floodwater attenuation and...