Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Washington
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Washington Project

Evaluating sea duck detectability in the Puget Sound winter ambient monitoring program

January 2020 - May 2023


Participating Agencies

  • Migratory Bird Management

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife annually conducts a survey to monitor sea ducks in Puget Sound. This survey, the Puget Sound Ambient Monitoring Program, is critical to understanding status and trends of sea ducks on this continentally important wintering area, and also to informing management of the Washington sea duck hunting season. While relative abundance has been available from the survey, a lack of information on detection rates has made estimation of absolute abundance untenable. A 2012 effort led to collection of digital imagery to inform the estimation of detection; such estimates could be used to calculate absolute abundance from the survey. However, a lack of dedicated program staff has complicated efforts to complete the analysis for the 2012 data. The purpose of this project is to complete analysis of these data to produce a correction factor for sea duck detection in the sea duck survey in Puget Sound.