USGS ASC - Copper River Delta - Birds - 1997-2005

Latest version published by United States Geological Survey on Dec 11, 2019 United States Geological Survey
Publication date:
11 December 2019
CC0 1.0

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Waterbirds were observed during breeding season in the Copper River Delta Area of Alaska. These data include 14 unique taxa observed over a seven-year period. In 1964, an earthquake changed the wetlands of this area, uplifting them by 1.9 meters and draining large areas. Goose breeding populations have since been in decline. These data provide occurrence information at nests.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 5,794 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

FONDELL, THOMAS F., JAMES B. GRAND, DAVID A. MILLER, R. MICHAEL ANTHONY. 2006. Renesting by Dusky Canada Geese on the Copper River Delta, Alaska. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 70(4):955–964.


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The publisher and rights holder of this work is United States Geological Survey. To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: af0496b9-af24-4290-81e6-d25e90ffb9d1.  United States Geological Survey publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by GBIF-US.


Metadata; Aves; Anseriformes; wetlands; game birds; breeding sites; Observation


Tom Fondell
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
  • Principal Investigator
Research Wildlife Biologist
US Geological Survey Alaska Science Center
4210 University Dr
99508-4626 Anchorage
+1 (907) 786-7155
Annie Simpson
  • Metadata Provider
biologist and information scientist
USGS Core Science Systems
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr
20192 Reston
John Pearce
  • Point Of Contact
Research Wildlife Biologist
US Geological Survey Alaska Science Center
4210 University Dr
99508-4626 Anchorage
+1 (907) 786-7094

Geographic Coverage

min longitude = -146.8642 max longitude) = -144.1142 min latitude = 50.53789 max latitude = 63.93678 Note that there appears to be a typographic error in the minimum latitude. One record mentions 60.53789, but that falls in the middle of the north Pacific Ocean.

Bounding Coordinates South West [60.538, -146.864], North East [63.937, -144.114]

Taxonomic Coverage

nesting birds.

Species Branta canadensis, Anas platyrhynchos, Aythya marila, Anas acuta, Anas crecca, Anas discors, Anas strepera, Anas americana, Aythya collaris, Gavia stellata, Asio flammeus, Cygnus buccinator, Anas clypeata, Mergus serrator

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 1997-01-01 / 2005-01-01

Project Data

No Description available

Title Renesting by Dusky Canada Geese on the Copper RiverDelta, Alaska
Funding funded by the USFWS, Region 7, Migratory BirdManagement Division; United States Forest Service, ChugachRanger District; and United States Geological Survey, AlaskaScience Center.
Study Area Description This particular aspect of this study was conducted on a 13-km2 area adjacent to Alaganik Slough on the west side of the Copper River Delta (ca.60 degrees N). Prior to 1964, this area had been brackish sedge (Carex spp.) meadow, maintained by tidal flooding. In 1964, the delta was uplifted 2.0 m by an earthquake that resulted in increased drainage of uplands, near cessation of tidal flooding, and decreased salinity. All ponds and wetlands became fresh water. Shrubs (mainly sweet gale [Myrica gale], alder [Alnus crispa], and willow [Salix spp.]) and trees (cottonwood [Populus balsamifera] and Sitka spruce [Picea sitchensis]) have invaded and now dominate the drier levees. Concurrent with increased woody vegetation, beavers (Castor canadensis) colonized the delta. Large tidal sloughs continued to drain the delta, but tributaries off the main sloughs were dammed by beavers and transformed into long, deep freshwater ponds. Beaver activity also flooded upland, increasing the area of wetland between slough levees and pond basins. These areas continued to be dominated by freshwater sedges and mosses.
Design Description Birds were captured where possible and marked with neck collars at least 1 year prior to initiation of our study. Capture techniques included bow traps for nesting birds and corral traps for molting and hatch-year birds. We located most nests of collared females during systematic searches of the entire study area. We conducted systematic searches on foot, often using a trained dog, twice each year, and each search took approximately 3 weeks to complete.

The personnel involved in the project:

Thomas F. Fondell
  • Author

Sampling Methods

For the goose portion of the study, sampling was as described in the citation.

Study Extent For the goose portion of the study, the extent was as described in the citation.
Quality Control Aerial surveys of nesting birds are biased because some portion of the population are not observed. For our study, the expansion of aerial surveys was based on nest densities from random ground plots surveyed on foot. This adjustment was calculated as the ratio of the density of nests to the density of indicated pairs observed from aircraft. This calculation was based on active and destroyed nests with the assumption that each nest represented one breeding pair.

Method step description:

  1. N/A.

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Rizzolo, Daniel, Joel A. Schmutz, Sarah E. McCloskey, and Thomas F. Fondell. 2014. Factors influencing nest survival and productivity of Red-throated Loons (Gavia stellata) in Alaska. The Condor 116(4):574-587. DOI: 10.1650/CONDOR-14-25.1
  2. Anthony, R. M., J. B. Grand, T. F. Fondell, and B.F.J. Manly. 2004. A quantitative approach to identifying predators from nest remains. Journal of Field Ornithology. 75:40-48. DOI:
  3. Anthony, R. M., Grand, J. B., Fondell T. F. & D. A. Miller. 2006. Techniques for identifying predators of goose nests. Wildlife Biology 12:249-256. DOI:[249:TFIPOG]2.0.CO;2
  4. Fondell, T. F., J. B. Grand, D. A. Miller, and R. M. Anthony. 2006. Renesting by dusky Canada Geese on the Copper River Delta, Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Management. 70:955-964. DOI:[955:RBDCGO]2.0.CO;2
  5. Fondell, T. F., D. A. Miller, J. B. Grand, and R. M. Anthony. 2008. Survival of dusky Canada Goose goslings in relation to weather and annual nest success. Journal of Wildlife Management 72:1614-1621. DOI: 10.2193/2007-480
  6. Fondell, T. F., J. B. Grand, D. A. Miller, and R. M. Anthony. 2008. Predators of Dusky Canada Goose goslings and the effects of transmitters on gosling survival. Journal of Field Ornithology 79:399-407. DOI: 10.1111/j.1557-9263.2008.00191.x
  7. Grand, J. B., T. F. Fondell, D. A. Miller, and R. M. Anthony. 2006. Nest survival of dusky Canada geese: use of discrete time models. Auk 123:198-210. DOI:[0198:NSIDCG]2.0.CO;2
  8. Miller, D. A. 2004. Factors related to temporal and spatial variation in nest survival for dusky Canada geese on the Copper River Delta, Alaska. M.Sc. Thesis. Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama.
  9. Miller, D. A., J. B. Grand, T. F. Fondell, and R. M. Anthony. 2006. Predator functional response and prey survival: direct and indirect interactions affecting a marked prey population. Journal of Animal Ecology 75:101-110. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2005.01025.x
  10. Miller, D. A., J. B. Grand, T. F. Fondell, and R. M. Anthony. 2007. Optimizing nest survival and female survival: consequences of nest site selection for Canada geese. Condor 109:769-780. DOI: 10.1650/0010-5422(2007)109[769:ONSAFS]2.0.CO;2

Additional Metadata

Purpose The data was collected to monitor population trends in nesting waterbirds after a severe environmental impact in the Copper River Delta region of Alaska (a seismic event that elevated the region by 1.9M).
Alternative Identifiers af0496b9-af24-4290-81e6-d25e90ffb9d1