Mark W. Christopher

Climatic and Aquacultural Influences on Waterfowl Use of Catfish Ponds

We compared climatic and pond-management parameters with aerial census estimates of waterfowl and American coots (Fulica americana) on randomly selected clusters of channel catfish (lctalurus punctatus) impoundments in the Delta Region of Mississippi from November 1983 to March 1984 and from October 1984 to March 1985. Mean total waterfowl and coot estimates for 1983-84 and 1984-85 were 51,853 and 81,325, respectively. Numbers of lesser scaup (Aytha affinis) increased four-fold the second winter. Weekly waterfowl and coot populations fluctuated with temperature, rainfall, and ice over....


Diurnal Activity Budgets of Nonbreeding Waterfowl and Coots Using Catfish Ponds in Mississippi

We quantified diurnal time activity budgets of 4 waterfowl species and American coots (Fulica americana), using catfish ponds in the Delta Region of Mississippi from November to March 1983-84 and 1984-85. Within each species, activity budgets were similar (P > 0.05) between seasons (1983-84 vs. 1984-85). Primary activities of lesser scaup (Aythya ajfinis) included foraging (34.6%) and resting (27.7%). Shovelers, (Anas clypeata) mostly foraged (69.0%) and courtship and interaction activities increased in late winter. Primary activities of ring-necked ducks (Aythya collaris) were foraging...


Improved Efficiency in Aerial Surveys of Waterfowl using Catfish Ponds

Data from 2 aerial surveys of waterfowl using catfish ponds were used to compare sampling efficiences between 2 stratified sampling designs and 2 completely random designs. Completely random designs produced slightly lower coefficients of variation (CV) than post-stratified sampling designs. The unbiased estimator was simplest to compute. Based on a curve established from proportions of catfish ponds sampled and CV's, sampling intensity may be reduced if lower levels of precision were acceptable. Sampling intensity can be reduced by employing a stratified design and optimal allocation of...