Current Research in Waterfowl

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Birds".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 1750

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Biological Sciences, Louisiana Tech University, Ruston, LA 71272, USA
Interests: animal responses to stressors in their environment; behavioral ecology; conservation; demography; endocrinology; immunology; toxicology

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Guest Editor
Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA
Interests: animal responses to stressors in their environment; physiology (e.g., hormones, parasites, immune response, body condition, isotopes); ecology (e.g., diversity, abundance, productivity); life history (e.g., reproductive success, survival); behavior

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research about waterfowl offers invaluable insights into a wide array of critical areas. Waterfowl not only play pivotal roles in preserving ecological balance but also contribute to the overall health of wetlands by regulating insect populations, facilitating seed dispersal, and influencing the dynamics of vegetation. Moreover, certain waterfowl species serve as crucial reservoirs for pathogens like avian influenza viruses. Therefore, studying their movements and their interactions with domestic and wild birds is imperative for effectively monitoring and managing potential disease outbreaks, which have the potential to affect both avian populations and human health. Beyond disease management, the migration patterns and breeding times of waterfowl are indicators of the impacts of climate change on ecosystems. These patterns offer a window into the ways in which environmental shifts are affecting the ecosystems they inhabit.

Waterfowl also hold significant cultural and recreational value, serving as subjects of art, folklore, and traditional hunting. Conducting research in this field allows us to strike a harmonious balance between preserving cultural heritage and ensuring the sustainable utilization of waterfowl resources.

This Special Issue welcomes original research articles, literature reviews, and meta-analyses on the following topics (non-exhaustive list):

  • Epidemiology or disease ecology of waterfowl;
  • Impacts of the microbiome on physiology, disease, or behavior in waterfowl;
  • Waterfowl as sentinels of One Health or ecosystem health;
  • Studies focused on cultural and recreational value of waterfowl;
  • Impacts of climate change on waterfowl biology, migration, and phenology;
  • Developmental biology of waterfowl, including impacts of contaminants;
  • Wintering waterfowl physiology and behavior;
  • Waterfowl learning and cognition;
  • Full annual cycle nutrition in waterfowl;
  • Emerging trends in waterfowl conservation;
  • Land management strategies for waterfowl conservation.

Dr. Terri J. Maness
Dr. Jacquelyn K. Grace
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • waterfowl
  • disease ecology
  • climate change
  • migration
  • conservation
  • One Health
  • microbiome
  • physiology
  • toxicology

Published Papers (2 papers)

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16 pages, 3262 KiB  
Article
Habitat Suitability and Determinants for Anatidae in Multi-Watershed Composite Wetlands in Anhui, China
by Jiye Shi, Lei Meng, Shanshan Xia, Song Liu and Lizhi Zhou
Animals 2024, 14(7), 1010; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14071010 - 26 Mar 2024
Viewed by 786
Abstract
Habitat suitability analysis is essential in habitat and species conservation. Anatidae are known for their migratory behaviour, high population density, and wide distribution range. Understanding their habitat utilzation and influencing factors is crucial in targeted conservation and management. In this study, we collected [...] Read more.
Habitat suitability analysis is essential in habitat and species conservation. Anatidae are known for their migratory behaviour, high population density, and wide distribution range. Understanding their habitat utilzation and influencing factors is crucial in targeted conservation and management. In this study, we collected Anatidae diversity data, including the number of species, through field surveys from October 2021 to March 2022 and thirty habitat variables through an online database in Anhui Province, China. By using MaxEnt, we simulated the habitat suitability of twenty-one Anatidae species, revealing potential distribution sites in Anhui Province. Generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) were employed to identify factors affecting the distribution of geese and ducks. The results showed that high-suitability habitats were predominantly located in the large lakes of the Yangtze River floodplain. The GLMM analysis showed significant correlations between Anatidae richness and altitude, distribution of farmland, and human footprint. In addition, ducks were more sensitive to the human interference factor than geese. In summary, the lakes in the Yangtze River floodplain emerged as the most important Anatidae habitats in Anhui Province due to their abundant wetland resources, flat terrain, and high distribution of farmlands. These findings provide a scientific basis for the development of relevant conservation strategies and measures, aiding in wildlife epidemic monitoring, prevention, and control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research in Waterfowl)
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15 pages, 5310 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Waterbird Habitat Importance and Identification of Conservation Gaps in Anhui Province
by Yuan Liu, Xianglin Ji and Lizhi Zhou
Animals 2024, 14(7), 1004; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani14071004 - 25 Mar 2024
Viewed by 621
Abstract
Wetlands are among the most important habitats of highly wetland-dependent waterbirds but are subject to ongoing habitat loss and degradation owing to intensified anthropogenic activities. The scarcity of human and natural resources makes effective habitat protection an important concern. Here, we aimed to [...] Read more.
Wetlands are among the most important habitats of highly wetland-dependent waterbirds but are subject to ongoing habitat loss and degradation owing to intensified anthropogenic activities. The scarcity of human and natural resources makes effective habitat protection an important concern. Here, we aimed to investigate waterbird habitat protection methods for Anhui Province, China, a critical stopover and wintering area on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway that features rich wetland resources subject to significant habitat loss and degradation. We evaluated the status and importance of 306 wintering waterbird habitats and identified the key environmental influences and current protection gaps using the entropy weights method and generalized additive modeling. We found 73 important habitats for waterbirds in Anhui Province, which were classified into levels of importance (descending from I to V) according to the natural discontinuity method. Level I and Level II habitats were mainly located in the Yangtze River floodplain and Level IV habitats in the Huaihe River floodplain. The gap analysis showed that 42 important waterbird habitats had protection gaps, accounting for 57.53% of the total area. Waterbird habitat importance was significantly correlated with elevation, normalized vegetation index, lake area, and lake circumference but not with distance from roads or population density. The results of this study provide scientific information for waterbird habitat conservation planning, which is crucial for maintaining wetland ecosystem functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Research in Waterfowl)
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