These authors report that hatch rates of duck nests were related to removal of predators from waterfowl production areas. Cost effectiveness of such efforts is questioned. The prairie pothole region (PPR) is the primary breeding ground of several species of North American ducks (Bellrose 1980). Much habitat of breeding ducks in the PPR has been destroyed or degraded by intensive agriculture (e.g., Kiel et al. 1972, Bellrose 1980, Sugden and Beyersbergen 1984, Boyd 1985), resulting in high predation rates on duck nests (Sargeant and Raveling 1992). Because of predation, hatch rate (HR) of duck nests in Waterfowl Production Areas (WPA's) in the PPR is often less than the 15-20% suggested for stability of populations of the 5 most common species of dabbling ducks (e.g., Cowardin et al. 1985, Greenwood 1986, Klett et al. 1988, Greenwood et al. 1990). Managers seek ways to reduce depredations of duck clutches in WPA's, but little information is available concerning effects of predator removal. We evaluated seasonal (spring and early summer) removal of predators from WPA's in Minnesota and North Dakota. Our objectives were to compare HR in uplands of WPA's with and without predators removed and to determine functional aspects of conducting predator removal.
Additional publication details
Seasonal predator removal relative to hatch rate of duck nests in waterfowl production areas