Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Analysis of bird population count data


August 2016 - December 2018


Sea ducks are understudied relative to other species of waterfowl, especially in the southern portion of the US Atlantic Coast. Climate change and human activity (e.g., wind energy development) could impact their wintering sites causing negative carry-over effects through the rest of their life cycle. Our goal was to better describe wintering sites, movement, and habitat use of black scoters along the southern US Atlantic Coast using satellite telemetry and aerial survey data. This project was a collaboration between USFWS, Environment Canada, and USGS. The output from this study could be used to better inform survey methods for black scoters or to decrease conflict with wind energy development in the area.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Plumpton, H.M, E.D. Silverman, and B.E. Ross. Black Scoter habitat use along the southeastern coast of the United States. Submitted to Avian Conservation and Ecology.
  • Plumpton, H.M., S.G. Gilliland, and B.E. Ross. Geographic differences in the winter movements of the Atlantic population of Black Scoters. Submitted to Avian Conservation and Ecology.


  • Plumpton, H.M., E. Silverman, B.E. Ross. 2017. Annual factors affecting the distribution for wintering Black Scoters. 6th International Sea Duck Conference
  • Plumpton, H. M., E. D. Silverman, B. E. Ross. 2017. Annual Factors Influencing the Wintering Distribution of Black Scoters in the South Atlantic. The Wildlife Society Annual Meeting. Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 3

Phd Students: 1

Post Docs: 1

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 14

Scientific Publications: 22

Presentations: 82



Funding Agencies



South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Clemson University
  2. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
  3. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  4. U.S. Geological Survey
  5. Wildlife Management Institute