A Hiccup...

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Written by Mark Koneff
Friday, May 13, 2016

Photo of Mark Koneff.Unfortunately, I’m going to have to discontinue my survey in the Maine and Atlantic Canada crew area due to injury. The good news is that a replacement crew will be available to continue the survey in this crew area next week. While the seasonal phenology will be too late to collect data in parts of the Canadian Maritimes by then, we are fortunate to have access to complementary data collected by a Canadian Wildlife Service crew. These data are routinely integrated with our FWS data in computing the annual estimates of duck abundance in this region. It will affect the precision of our estimate some, but at least we’ll have one. The replacement crew will include Brian Lubinksi, who is a biologist-pilot for the FWS out of Minnesota. His observer will be John Bidwell, who is a retiree from our Branch, and a former crew leader for this area. John’s local knowledge and experience in this area will be invaluable, especially in dealing with the challenging weather, terrain, and logistics. They will fly the survey in Newfoundland and Labrador in N701, a Partenavia Observer that Brian operates from Minnesota. I’m disappointed to miss the survey this year, and I’m particularly disappointed for Heidi Hanlon, my observer, whose first experience with this survey and this incredible landscape was cut short. I am thankful, however, that we’re able to meet our obligations in Newfoundland and Labrador, which are particularly important as breeding regions for the North Atlantic Canada Goose Population. You’ll hear more from Brian and John in Newfoundland and Labrador.