Matthew J. Gray

Habitat Selection and Survival of American Black Ducks in Western Tennessee

The American black duck (Anas rubripes) has been declining throughout its range since the 1950s, especially in the Mississippi Flyway. Loss of quality wintering habitat and competition and hybridization with mallards (A. platyrhynchos) have been suggested as factors contributing to black duck decline. Tennessee and Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) are two primary wintering areas for midcontinent black ducks recording long-term population declines. To better understand habitat selection and habitat-related survival of black ducks at Tennessee NWR (TNWR), we radio marked 64...

Year
2011

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...

Year
2011

Post-harvest Fates of Agricultural Seeds in Tennessee Croplands

Agricultural seed left in harvested fields is an important source of energy for migrating and wintering waterfowl. However, rates of seed loss from germination, decomposition or depredation have not been quantified for corn, soybean, or grain sorghum. Because seed loss rates directly influence habitat quality and management recommendations for waterfowl and other wildlife, we estimated rates of germination, decomposition, and depredation for scattered seed and aggregate seed heads in 98 harvested corn, soybean and grain sorghum study plots across Tennessee from September - January 2006...

Year
2010

Influences of Drawdown on Shorebird Use of Mudflats in Two East Tennessee River Reservoirs

Mudflats in the Tennessee River Valley (TRV) provide a critical migratory stopover for thousands of shorebirds. The Tennessee Valley Authority controls the availability of mudflats by manipulating water levels in reservoirs interconnected by the Tennessee River. We compared shorebird use of mudflats between Douglas and Chickamauga reservoirs in east Tennessee over two years. These reservoirs were drawn down on different dates, resulting in temporal differences in mudflat exposure. In 2005, mudflat exposure at Douglas and Chickamauga reservoirs began on 4 August and 4 October, respectively...

Year
2007

Comparison of Anuran Call Survey Durations in Tennessee Wetlands

Anuran breeding call surveys are widely used to document species richness and relative abundance. Call survey protocols used by the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program are five minutes in duration. However, recent studies have suggested that 5-minute call surveys may not be long enough to accurately estimate species richness or relative abundance. Therefore, we tested whether anuran species richness and relative abundance differed between 5- and 10-minute breeding call surveys. We conducted 344 call surveys from March-August 2005 and 2006 at eight wetlands on the Cumberland Plateau...

Year
2006