Richard M. Kaminski

Wintering Waterfowl Use of Wetlands in Delta National Forest, Mississippi

SEAFWA Journal Volume 9, March 2022

Bottomland hardwood forests in the southeastern United States provide important food and other socio-physiological resources for several wintering duck species. Duck presence and abundance in these wetlands can be influenced by periodicity and extent of flooding, disturbance from anthropogenic activities, and availability and coverage of certain vegetative communities. We tested if presence of flooding, anthropogenic disturbance, and certain vegetation types influenced wintering duck presence and abundance in Delta National Forest (DNF; Mississippi), the only National Forest which is...

Box-nesting Wood Ducks and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in Coastal South Carolina

SEAFWA Journal Volume 9, March 2022

Installation and maintenance of artificial nesting structures are established practices for increasing production of secondary cavity nesting waterfowl, especially wood ducks (Aix sponsa). In South Carolina, tens of thousands of nest boxes have been erected on public and private lands. Ad- ditionally, since the early 2000s, black-bellied whistling ducks (Dendrocygna autumnalis) have expanded their range into South Carolina and now are nesting sympatric with wood ducks in boxes. We conducted a survey of 364 and 354 nest boxes in 2016 and 2017,...

Achievement-Oriented Effects on Waterfowl-Hunt Quality at Mississippi Wildlife Management Areas

SEAFWA Journal Volume 6, March 2019
Wildlife Outstanding Technical Paper

Waterfowl hunters participate in hunting for appreciative-, affiliative-, and achievement-oriented reasons. To investigate the influence of achievement-oriented factors on hunt quality, we analyzed post-hunt surveys completed by waterfowl hunters at four Mississippi Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), 2008–2015. We used these questions to calculate a hunt quality score for each participant and tested whether variation in hunt quality was best explained by total number of ducks harvested, number of mallards harvested, total bag weight, or palatability of ducks. Hunt quality increased with...

Aquatic Invertebrate Community Composition, Diversity, and Biomass in Non-impounded Bottomland Hardwood Forests and Greentree Reservoirs

SEAFWA Journal Volume 5, March 2018

The Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) had extensive bottomland hardwood forests but less than 25% of this area remains forested today. Impounded greentree reservoirs (GTRs), have been managed for wintering waterfowl since the 1930s, and provide a source of aquatic invertebrates and acorns for foraging ducks and other wildlife. However, few studies of invertebrate community-composition, diversity, and biomass have been conducted at regional scales. We collected samples of aquatic invertebrates from three hardwood bottomlands in the MAV and one in the Mississippi Interior Flatwoods region...

Waste Rice and Natural Seed Abundances in Rice Fields in the Louisiana and Texas Coastal Prairies

SEAFWA Journal Volume 2, March 2015

Rice and natural seeds are important foods for waterfowl in rice growing regions such as the Gulf Coast Prairies of Louisiana and Texas. We conducted a study from August-November 2010 and collected 2,250 soil cores in 50 farmed and 50 idle rice fields in the Louisiana Chenier Plain (CP) and Texas Mid-Coast (TMC) to estimate biomass of waste rice and natural seeds. Estimates are necessary to assess carrying capacity for waterfowl in this region by the Gulf Coast Joint Venture. Waste rice abundance was greatest in CP farmed fields that produced a second crop of rice (i.e., ratoon) and were...

Mallard Use of a Managed Public Hunting Area in Mississippi

SEAFWA Journal Volume 2, March 2015

Managers of public lands affording waterfowl hunting strive to provide quality hunting opportunities while supporting biological needs of birds during winter. Understanding responses by mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) to diurnal hunting activities would help shape hunt regimes that satisfy management goals. We examined use of a wildlife management area (WMA) in western Mississippi by 28 radio-marked female mallards when waterfowl hunting season was closed and during the season when none, half, or all of the WMA was hunted during two winters 2010-2012. The proportion of each day that mallards...

Annual Habitat Selection by Mottled Ducks in Coastal South Carolina

SEAFWA Journal Volume 2, March 2015

Mottled ducks (Anas fulvigula) are endemic to Gulf Coastal United States, Florida, and Mexico. Birds from Florida, Louisiana, and Texas were released in coastal South Carolina from 1975 - 1983, and subsequent banding data suggest a dispersing and increasing population in the state. Because autecology of mottled ducks is little known in South Carolina, we radio-marked 116 females in August 2010 - 2011 in the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto Rivers Basin to assess habitat use throughout the annual cycle. We monitored habitat use by aircraft during fall-winter and via ground reconnaissance...

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...

Waste Rice, Moist-soil Seed, and Waterbird Abundances in Rice Production Systems in Louisiana and Texas

Rice fields are important agricultural habitats for waterbirds (waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds) worldwide. In the Texas Mid-Coast (TMC) and Louisiana Chenier Plain (LCP), >167,458 ha of rice are cultivated annually. Precise estimates of abundance of waste grain and natural seeds in harvested and idle rice fields are needed to guide conservation of waterbird habitat in this region, which is part of the Gulf Coast Joint Venture (GCJV) of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. Our objectives were to estimate and compare waste rice and moist-soil seed abundance among rice...

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...