University of Connecticut

Endangered & introduced waterbirds

In addition to our tidal marsh and agricultural wetland work, we have conducted several studies of waterbirds of conservation interest.  Typically these studies focus on endangered species, but we’ve also done research on introduced waterbirds that have raised conservation concerns.

Hawaiian waterbirds. Working with Michael Reed of Tufts University, we have been involved with several studies relating to the population biology and management of endangered Hawaiian waterbirds. These studies include population viability modelling, survival analysis, and population trend analyses.

Mute swans.  We have also conducted research on the population dynamics, movement behavior and foraging ecology of mute swans, which are introduced in North America and have spread widely, especially in the northeast.

Beach-nesting waterbirds.  Although not a major focus of our research at present, we have previously conducted studies of beach-nesting birds (plovers and terns) to assess the effects of human lighting on nesting behaviour and success.  More recently, we have begun a study of the effects of climate change on population trends in these species.

Wind farms and pelicans.  Some years ago we also conducted a small study to assess the likely impact of wind farm development on Caribbean brown pelicans.  That study was never published, but I did write some thoughts on wind farms here.