High duck nesting success in a predator-reduced environment

Journal of Wildlife Management
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Duck nesting and production were studied during 1969-74 on a 51-ha field of undisturbed grass-legume cover and a surrounding 8.13-km2 area in north-central South Dakota. The principal mammalian predators of ducks were reduced within a 259-km2 zone from May 1969 through August 1971. Dabbling duck nest densities, hatching success, and breeding populations attained high levels. Seven duck species produced 1,062 nests on the 51-ha field during 6 years, 864 (81%) hatched, 146 (14%) were destroyed, and 52 (5%) had other fates. During 1970-72, when predator reduction was most effective, the hatching success for 756 nests was 94%. The number of mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) nests increased from 37 (0.7/ha) in 1969 to 181 (3.5/ha) in 1972. Mallard pairs increased from 2.8/km2 to 16.8/km2 on the 8.13-km2 area during the same period. A minimum of 7,250 ducklings hatched on the 51-ha field during the 6 years, including 2,342 ducklings in 1972. Exceptionally high duck nesting densities and hatching rates occurred when predators were controlled.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title High duck nesting success in a predator-reduced environment
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
Volume 44
Issue 2
Year Published 1980
Language English
Contributing office(s) Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Description 10 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title Journal of Wildlife Management
First page 428
Last page 437
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