Grant awarded to greatly expand the number of Motus towers across 5 or 6 states, including ~20 in NY. Braddock Bay tower to be installed soon. They will use both types of receivers. Seneca Meadows tower is up but running into technical difficulties.
Of our 11 nano-tagged Virginia Rails, only 1 was confirmed to stay in the area for more than 20 days. Nine of them stayed in the NMWMA area for less than 6 days.
We have funding and a contractor lined up, also have made good progress on permits (state and federal wetland, archeological, water quality) required for the work at the MAC North Pond. The project will remove the island and excavate the pond a little closer to the observation platform. Could start work in March if weather allows.
Habitat Management Plan
We are working on writing up a long-term habitat management plan for Northern Montezuma WMA. The plan will describe forest, grassland and wetland management objectives for the next 10 years. It will be similar in format (except for an expanded wetland section) to the Lake Shore Marshes Habitat Management Plan (https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7768.html).
Note the date change due to conflict with NYSOA meeting… September 6 -7, 2019.
Waterfowl Management News
New Season Setting Process for NY makes use of eBird generated migration curves and hunter surveys in structured decision-making format.
At the Atlantic Flyway level: AP Geese suffered poor production year and will result in hunting season restrictions (30 days and 2 birds/day in the West Central Goose hunt Area) in 2019-2020; concern over declining Mallard population will lead to a bag reduction from 4 to 2 in 2019-2020.
Winter Duck Banding
We have banded 18 Black Ducks and 158 Mallards so far, this winter. Thanks to Friends for their assistance with funding. We will soon decide on a date for the Public event – likely to be Saturday 2/23.
Winter Waterfowl Count
We conducted a survey of Montezuma Wetlands Complex (specifically the Focus Area under the NAWMP) for NYSOA’s annual winter waterfowl count. We ran the count on January 24th. The only areas with open water were the Canal and the North end of Cayuga Lake. Count totals for our area were: 1,023 Canada Geese, 206 Common Merganser, 874 Tundra Swan, 20 Trumpeter Swan, 210 Redhead, 26 Black Duck, 65 Mallard, 44 Scaup, 32 Common Goldeneye, 11 Ring-necked Duck and 4 American Wigeon.