Atlantic Crew Area Completed

Written by Mark Koneff
Saturday, June 11, 2011

Photo of Mark Koneff.Well, we began our survey efforts in Maine on May 3 and flew our final segment in Labrador on June 10. Our top-notch statistician, Emily Silverman at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland, who is now busily checking, summarizing and analyzing all crews’ survey data, believes I might even have a record for the most protracted survey. That’s a record I (and my family) don’t care to hold! It was definitely a tough weather year, but in a way, that makes crossing the finish line that much more satisfying. I parted ways this morning in Goose Bay, Labrador, with my observer and friend, John Bidwell. Having retired last year from the USFWS, this may have been John’s last May survey for a while. It was great having another experienced pilot-biologist in the right seat. While John travels home to Maine, I continued north to Kuujjuaq, Quebec, on the shore of the Ungava Bay. Tomorrow, I’ll meet up with biologists from the Canadian Wildlife Service and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and we’ll begin the annual breeding population survey of the Atlantic Population of Canada Geese. These geese winter in the mid-Atlantic region, with their winter distribution centered on the Delmarva Peninsula. The breeding population survey is conducted on the Ungava Peninsula of northern Quebec between the Hudson Bay to the west and Ungava Bay to the east. I’m hoping for good weather to get ‘er done and get back to my family in Maine.

Goose Bay, Labrador is an important fuel stop for aircraft crossing the Atlantic including many U.S. military aircraft.

Goose Bay, Labrador is an important fuel stop for aircraft crossing the Atlantic including many U.S. military aircraft. Photo by M. Koneff, US FWS

Characteristic rocky landscape of Labrador covered in a thick carpet of Lichen.

Characteristic rocky landscape of Labrador covered in a thick carpet of Lichen. Photo by J. Bidwell, US FWS (retired)

Churchill River gorge near Churchill Falls, Labrador.

Churchill River gorge near Churchill Falls, Labrador. Photo by J. Bidwell, US FWS (retired)

The hydro plant and outflow of the Smallwood Reservoir in Labrador.

The hydro plant and outflow of the Smallwood Reservoir in Labrador. Photo by J. Bidwell, US FWS (retired)