UD to host seventh North American Duck Symposium in Annapolis

UD to host seventh North American Duck Symposium in AnnapolisThe University of Delaware’s Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology will host the seventh North American Duck Symposium from Monday, Feb. 1, to Friday, Feb. 5, at the Westin Annapolis Hotel in Annapolis, Maryland. The conference is held every three years and this will mark the first time the symposium has been held in the Atlantic Flyway, one of four primary North American bird migration routes. “It’s a huge honor to bring this conference to the Atlantic Flyway for the first time,” said Chris Williams, associate professor of wildlife ecology and leader of the Waterfowl and Upland Gamebird Program. Williams won the bid to host the conference on the Atlantic Flyway and is giving the opening remarks and, along with graduate students, presenting multiple papers at the conference. “About 350 waterfowl and wetland biologists from throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and even Europe and Asia will attend to talk about the state of waterfowl ecology and management. Additionally, by hosting the conference here, it will bring attention to the Atlantic Flyway’s waterfowl conservation and management issues,” Williams said, adding, “It’s a big deal for our region and the University of Delaware.” The conference will bring together academic researchers and students, government officials, non-government conservation organizations, and industry representatives to address shared priorities for waterfowl and wetland conservation and management. Morning plenary speakers will be followed by concurrent sessions on key topics such as a 100-year retrospective look at waterfowl management and research, better connecting waterfowl research to successful management, integrating modern population estimation into management decisions, and implementing the 2012 North American Waterfowl Management Plan for successful conservation into the future. Also, there will be sessions dedicated to breeding biology, migration ecology, winter ecology, foraging, physiology, diseases and contaminants. Other conference sessions will examine techniques for determining population status and trends, population dynamics, survival and recruitment, migratory pathways, critical habitats and management options. The conference will also feature two evening poster sessions, workshops and special sessions in response to a call for proposals. A field trip is planned to view the Patuxent National Wildlife Refuge Research Center waterfowl colony where multiple research efforts are conducted, including one by Jake McPherson, a UD graduate student who is estimating the energetic expenditure of multiple behaviors of American black duck and lesser scaup. There will also be a forum at which students will present their research in oral and poster formats, gain professional experience, and network with professionals from around the world. To register for the symposium, visit the North American Duck Symposium website. This article can also be viewed on UDaily.