An Assessment of the Impact of Flooding on Bird Populations Using the Philadelphia Temporal Synoptic Index (TSI)

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Sunday, 2 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Erin Potter, University of Delaware, Newark, DE; and D. J. Leathers

The Susquehanna River Basin is home to nearly 4 million people who rely on the waterways for food, drinking water, transportation, and many other aspects of daily life. Flooding in the Basin can cause a huge impact for those inhabitants, leading to loss of life, property, and safe living conditions, as well as a disrupted economy and ecosystem. Many animal species are also impacted by flooding in the Basin, nesting waterfowl and migratory birds for example, and this can lead to further complications for humans. The Philadelphia Temporal Synoptic Index (TSI) will be used to determine if a particular synoptic weather type has a practically and statistically significant association with major seasonal flooding from 1946 to 2012. Years of major flooding will then be correlated to population numbers for selected bird species in the Basin. These data can be applied to flood forecasts and conservation efforts for flood prone bird habitats. The goals of this project are to create a means of aiding bird conservation, to produce more accurate flood forecasts, and to promote a healthy ecosystem in the Susquehanna River Basin.