Survival of radio-marked mallard ducklings in northeastern California

Journal of Wildlife Management
By: , and 


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Estimates of duckling survival are necessary to accurately assess recruitment of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), yet few reliable estimates exist. During 1988-90, we estimated survival rates for 127 radio-marked mallard ducklings from 64 broods on Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, California. In 1988, we restricted the survival estimate to the first 10 days post-hatch (S = 0.18, SE = 0.07). Survival from hatching to 50 days was 0.37 (SE = 0.09) in 1989 and 0.34 (SE = 0.07) in 1990. Total brood loss differed among years (P < 0.05); 81.2% in 1988 (n = 16), 36.8% in 1989 (n = 19), and 37.5% in 1990 (n = 24). Ninety-three percent of mortality occurred during the first 10 days of life. We detected no differences in the proportion of radio-marked ducklings fledged from early-hatched versus late-hatched nests (P = 0.74). During 1989-90, 16 females appeared to lose their entire brood; however, 3 radio-marked ducklings from 2 of these broods were fledged by other brood hens. Of 29 radio-marked ducklings that reached 44 days of life, 6 (20.7%) joined other broods. Habitat enhancement is the key to improving duckling survival because the large number of predator species that consume ducklings makes predator control difficult.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Survival of radio-marked mallard ducklings in northeastern California
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
Volume 58
Issue 1
Year Published 1994
Language English
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description 6 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Wildlife Management
First page 82
Last page 87
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