Studies about impacts of hydroelectric operations on riverine-dependent birds are limited to date. We present data on the distribution of a breeding population of harlequin ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) on a river system in the Southern Interior of British Columbia that has been developed for hydroelectric generation. Pair surveys revealed 17 ± 5 (SD) birds occurring on the Bridge and Yalakom rivers, downstream of Terzaghi Dam. Four broods were observed in the lower Bridge River below Terzaghi Dam in 1997 and 1998. Mean brood size was 2.25 ducklings ± 1.26 (SD) in 1997 and 2.0 ± 1.15 in 1998. Only 2 broods were observed on the upper Bridge River. Physical habitat features are described. Our preliminary data indicate that harlequin ducks react to habitat changes resulting from hydroelectric operations. Increased flows below Terzaghi Dam in May, June, and July may reduce harlequin duck productivity.
Hill, Edward L., Wright, Kenneth G.. 1999. Harlequin Duck Breeding Distribution and Hydroelectric Operations on the Bridge River, British Columbia (in Proc. Conference Biology & Management of Species and Habitats at Risk). Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. Conference Biology & ManagementProceedings. Vol. 1
Topic: Species and Ecosystems at Risk
Keywords: breeding distribution, Bridge River, habitat characteristics, harlequin duck, Histrionicus histrionicus, hydroelectric operations, impact assessment, population
Scientific Name: Histrionicus histrionicus
English Name: Harlequin Duck
Other Identifier: University College of the Cariboo
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