Mottled Ducks Are Subject Of New Research Project

Friday, August 29, 2014
Mottled duck with solar-powered satellite transmitter attached
Mottled duck with solar-powered satellite transmitter attached
- photo by Robert Horam/GA WRD 2014

Have satellite, will travel and luckily, will provide data.  Mottled ducks along the Georgia coast are being outfitted with satellite transmitters in a new, cooperative research project between the University of Georgia and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. 

“Mottled ducks are a relatively new species to the Georgia coast, only having been established here since the late 1990s,” said Greg Balkcom, State Waterfowl Biologist for the Wildlife Resources Division.

  “Their population is concentrated along the mouth of the Altamaha River, and has remained stable for several years, but we still don’t know enough about their habitat preferences and movement patterns to effectively manage coastal impoundments to meet their needs.” 

By attaching small, satellite transmitters to the ducks, this project allows researchers to track their movements, no matter how far they go.  The solar-powered transmitters collect several GPS locations per day for each duck, and electronically send that information back to researchers. 

A combined team of Wildlife Resources Division staff and a graduate student from the University of Georgia attached the first transmitters to six mottled ducks in early August.  Additional transmitters will be deployed throughout the fall of 2014. 

Researchers will see where mottled ducks feed in the mornings, where they roost at night, and how their use of available wetlands and marshes changes throughout the year.  With better understanding of the mottled duck’s movements, habitat use, and habitat needs, the agency can highlight important areas for conservation and tailor management schemes to create more usable habitat for mottled ducks along Georgia’s coast. 

What if a mottled duck is taken during waterfowl season?  No problem.  Any hunter who harvests a mottled duck wearing a transmitter can call the number on the transmitter for instructions or return the transmitter to the local Wildlife Resources Division Game Management office in Brunswick (One Conservation Way, Brunswick, GA 31520, 912 262-3173).

For more information on the project, contact Greg Balkcom (greg.balkcom@dnr.state.ga.us).  For more information on waterfowl hunting, visitwww.gohuntgeorgia.com/Hunting/Waterfowl.

UGA graduate student Kaylee Pollander and WRD Biologist Greg Balkcom attach a transmitter to a mottled duck.
UGA graduate student Kaylee Pollander and WRD Biologist Greg Balkcom attach a transmitter to a mottled duck.
- Photo2 by Robert Horan/GA WRD 2014

TWRA Commission Sets New License Fee Structure

For the first time in a decade, the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission has approved a license fee structure adjustment for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The increase was one of five rule amendments made by the TFWC at its January meeting, which concluded Friday at the Discovery Park of America in Union City. Tennessee hunting and fishing licenses expire on Feb. ... (click for more)

9th Annual Young Sportsman Quail Hunt Is March 7 In Knoxville

The Knoxville Quail Forever Chapter and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will sponsor a young sportsman quail hunt on March 7, at the McGhee-Carson Unit of the Tellico Lake Wildlife Management Area. This hunt will be for young sportsmen ages 10 to 16 who have passed a Hunter Safety class.  The hunt will start at 8 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m.  Each young sportsman ... (click for more)

Investigators Found Trail Of Blood, Beer Bottles Near Site Of Slaying Of Riverman

An investigator said a trail of blood and beer bottles was near where the lifeless body of 46-year-old Donald Rogers was found in an aluminum fishing boat on April 24, 2012. Detective Robin Langford said when he arrived at the site by boat docks off Johnson Road the body was still in the boat. He said the victim's head and arms were over the side of the boat. Chance Loftis, ... (click for more)

Man Stabbed In Domestic Dispute On Sunrise Lane Saturday Morning

A man was stabbed Saturday morning on Sunrise Lane.   At approximately  11:41  a.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to a reported stabbing at 309 Sunrise Lane.  Officers located a 45-year-old black male suffering from a non life-threatening stab wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital for his injury.   The ... (click for more)

Obama Doesn't Want You To Save For College

Over the past few decades, federal aid for post-secondary education has decreased and transitioned largely from grants to guaranteed student loans.   At the same time, the cost of college has far exceeded the cost of inflation creating a situation in which college has become less affordable and causing students to pile up debt that is at an all-time high.   This debt ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Great Peace Pipe

There is a serious rift between our state legislators and Erlanger Hospital that has me worried. If I worry about something, it doubles the power of the worry. My problem? I am convinced we have the best collection of people at the State Legislature in Nashville we’ve ever had – I adore each of them. I am also blessed to believe Erlanger is back on track and, after a sensational ... (click for more)