What do lower Green Bay, Kewaunee Harbor, Peshtigo River, Lake Koshkonong, and Horicon Marsh have in common? Answer: Places where American White Pelicans have visited during the past two weeks after being fitted with cellular transmitters by a team of UW-Green Bay scientists and collaborators.
The UW Sea Grant funded project is led by UW-Green Bay Profs. Amy Wolf and Bob Howe, and Cofrin Center for Biodiversity Research Specialist Erin Giese, in collaboration with Prof. Brian Dorr of Mississippi State University/USDA Wildlife Services; former UW-Green Bay student and
Wisconsin DNR Biologist Josh Martinez, and Bradley Smith, fisheries biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The field research team includes 12 current UW-Green Bay students, led by graduate students Jacob Woulf and Brandon Byrne, whose master’s theses involve specific aspects of the project. The pelicans, in addition to Double-crested Cormorants, which will receive transmitters this week, send signals to the cellular communications network every 10 minutes, enabling the research team to determine where these birds are feeding and “hanging out.” More than 4,000 pelicans and about 1,000 cormorants are present in lower Green Bay this summer. The project aims to determine the impacts of these fish-eating birds on fish populations and other characteristics of this highly productive ecosystem.
Photos and text submitted by UW-Green Bay Prof. of Natural and Applied Sciences and Director of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, Bob Howe.
Click to advance slideshow or view the album on Flickr.
– Photos submitted by Bob Howe, Cofrin Center for Biodiversity.