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Using Geographic Information System (GIs) Software to Predict Blackbird Roosting Locations in North Dakota

Ryan L. Wimberly, USDA APHIS Wildlife Services
Tony A. Slowik, USDA APHIS Wildlife Services
H. Jeffrey Homan, USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center
Linda B. Penry, USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, National Wildlife Research Center

Document Type Article

Published at Published at University of California


Cattail stands provide roosting and staging areas for large congregations of blackbirds in North Dakota in late summer and early fall. Since 1991, the U.S. Depamnent of Agriculture, Ammal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (WS) program has conducted a cattail management program in North Dakota to alleviate blackbird damage to ripening sunflower. To extend the capabilities of the program, a geographical mformation system (GIS) will be incorporated to help WS personnel find blackbird roosts more effectively. We will use the GIs to construct field maps showing the association between areas of moderate to hgh sunilower damage (>5%) and cattail-dominated wetland basins >2 ha. Buffer distances comparable to the distances blackbirds typically travel to forage will be placed around sunflower planting areas susceptible to high damage. This will lrclp WS ynsu~ult.l Cutiw heir eKurh un locating cattail-dominated wetlands that should be enrolled in the management program and improving current and fuhlre blackbird damage management programs.