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To increase recruitment of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), wildlife managers must understand the habitat and space needs of mallard broods. During 1989-90, we examined the movements, home range, and habitat use of 27 radio-marked mallard broods on Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, California. Twelve of the 27 broods made 22 relocation movements (>1,000 m in 24 hr) in the first week (n = 6) and after the fourth (n = 16) week of life. Mean home range size was 0.93 km2 (SE = 0.25) and did not differ between years (P = 0.26). Brood-rearing females selected seasonally flooded wetlands with a cover component and avoided open or permanently flooded habitats. In 1989, broods hatched in permanent wetlands were less successful in fledging (P = 0.006) radio-marked ducklings than broods from seasonal wetlands, suggesting habitat availability or movement to preferred habitats may affect duckling survival.
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Movements and habitat use of mallard broods in northeastern California