Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Survival, habitat use, and movements of female dabbling ducks during winter.


August 2007 - May 2010


This is a long-term, multi-faceted and multi-species study, investigating survival, habitat use and movements of wintering female dabbling ducks, and has regional and international components. The study was initiated on Northern Pintails and has focused on Mallards and Gadwall during the last 5 years. The overall goal of the study is to provide information useful for winter habitat and refuge management by states and Joint Ventures within the region. The Mallard studies employed VHF transmitters and provided data on birds wintering in TX, LA, AR, and MS, whereas the Gadwall study has both regional (LA, TX) and international components, given an additional objective of documenting spring migration corridors and breeding areas within the northern U.S. and Canada using satellite transmitters. Dr. Afton is the PI and lead 3 different teams of 1 M.S. student and 2-3 technicians each, capturing Mallards in southwest and northeast Louisiana and Gadwalls in southwest LA. The Mallard and Gadwall studies were funded by Ducks Unlimited, USFWS Region 2 through the Gulf Coast Joint Venture, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Research Products and Activities


  • Gray, J. M. 2010. Habitat Use, Movements, and Spring Migration Chronology and Corridors of Female Gadwalls that Winter along the Louisiana Gulf Coast. M.S. Thesis, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. 63pp.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 142

Post Docs: 53

University Staff: 240

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 701

Scientific Publications: 1936

Presentations: 4260



  • Alan AftonPrincipal Investigator
  • Jacob GrayStudent
  • Bruce DavisStudent
  • Paul LinkStudent

Funding Agencies

  • Ducks Unlimited SRO


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey