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We evaluated electric fences as predator barriers to reduce high losses of waterfowl nests to mammalian predation at Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs). The work was done in 1978-81 on 3 paired sites in central North Dakota and western Minnesota. Resident mammalian predators were trapped from inside the exclosures. All 3 fences operated during the study period with few major maintenance problems. Nest success in the exclosures was 65% in North Dakota and 55% in Minnesota vs. 45 and 12% in the respective controls. Cover inside the electric fence produced 7.8 more young/ha than cover in control plots in North Dakota during the 3 years. Cover inside the 2 electric fences in Minnesota yielded 9.5 and 4.3 more young/ha than cover in control plots during the 3 years. Using construction costs only we estimated that each additional duckling produced in cover protected by electric fencing cost $0.65 in North Dakota and $0.87 in Minnesota.
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Electric fences to reduce mammalian predation on waterfowl nests