The past decade has seen a huge increase in the interest and attention directed toward sea ducks, the Mergini tribe. This has been inspired, in large part, by the conservation concerns associated with numerical declines in several sea duck species and populations, as well as a growing appreciation for their interesting ecological attributes. Reflecting the considerable research recently conducted on this tribe, Ecology and Conservation of North American Sea Ducks examines the 15 extant species of sea ducks from North America.
Chapters are organized conceptually to focus on, compare, and contrast the ecological attributes of the tribe. Experts provide in-depth treatments of a range of topics, including:
- Population dynamics and genetics
- Infectious diseases and parasites
- Breeding costs and cross-seasonal affects
- Contaminant burdens
- Foraging behavior and energetics
- Migration strategies, molt ecology, and habitat affinities and dynamics
- Breeding systems and reproductive behavior
- Harvest history
The book presents a comprehensive synthesis of sea duck ecology, documents factors that have caused population declines of some species, and provides managers with measures to enhance recovery of depressed populations of sea ducks in North America. Capturing the current state of knowledge of this unique tribe, it provides a benchmark for where we are in conservation efforts and suggests future directions for researchers, managers, students, conservationists, and avian enthusiasts.