Dusky Days: Nest Island

courtesy Evan Ward

Ducks Unlimited intern Evan Ward is involved with the Dusky Canada Goose Project in Alaska and has posted his latest blog, recapping a nine-day stay at camp that saw his group monitor 380 nest islands.

Nest Island monitoring consists of us going out to each island to determine if these artificial structures need maintenance or had been used by breeding dusky Canada geese, and if so, try to deduce if they were successful or depreciated. During monitoring, we inspect each island to see if they have good shrub growth and shrub cover, and record other factors like pond depth, distance to shore, and species use. We ranked the priorities of how much work each island needs during monitoring. Low priority islands may only need some extra shrub cover, while high priority islands may be on the bottom of ponds or have gotten destroyed by muskrats and beavers

Ward is a part of a wildlife team on Chugach National Forest, Prince William Sound Management Zone assisting in the dusky Canada Goose Nest Island Program, which is managed by the US Forest Service and includes monitoring and maintaining nesting platforms (nest islands) that assist in the nest success of the dusky Canada goose on the Copper River Delta. To accomplish the annual nest island assessment, this position will be part of a field crew in a remote field camp, only accessible by boat, in the heart of the Copper River Delta.

To read more about Evan’s work and view pictures from Alaska, follow his Dusky Days blog.