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Wednesday, April 11 • 11:45am - 12:00pm
SYMPOSIA-14: Symposium Wrap Up: Synthesizing Fisher Surveys and Hydrological Dynamics with Siberian Crane Habitat Models at Poyang Lake, China

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AUTHORS: Janet Silbernagel*, University of Wisconsin-Madison

ABSTRACT: The last remaining population of the critically endangered Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus) overwinters exclusively at Poyang Lake, the largest inland freshwater lake in China. Currently, the water levels of Poyang Lake and its many locally managed sub-lakes dramatically fluctuate in response to seasonal flood pulses. Adding to these dynamics, local fishers manage water levels of many sub-lakes with gates to time the release of water and fish harvest. Uncertainty about potential construction of larger dam at the lake’s outflow pathway led to questions about the effects of a fixed lake stage on the Siberian Crane and local livelihoods. Loss of the highly variable flooding regime could result in a shift in the spatial distribution of local vegetation, as well as a loss of foraging habitat. This study models basin-wide inundation under past variation and with altered hydrology scenarios. With results of our fisher surveys we can fine-tune the hydrological models to determine where water levels are likely to support suitable foraging habitat to sustain the critically endangered population of Siberian Crane. The ultimate goal of this research is to inform future water management decisions in reference to the needs of the Siberian Cranes overwintering at Poyang Lake. Together with a preview of this study, I will synthesize the previous seven talks on waterbird habitat modeling and use of citizen science to explore advances in our knowledge and conservation successes, and the uncertainties ahead.

Wednesday April 11, 2018 11:45am - 12:00pm CDT
LaSalle 5 (7th Floor)

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