Determining factors that limit winter survival of waterfowl is necessary to develop effective management plans. We radiomarked immature and adult female mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) after the 1988 and 1989 hunting seasons in eastcentral Arkansas to test whether natural mortality sources and habitat conditions during late winter limit seasonal survival. We used data from 92 females to calculate survival estimates. We observed no mortalities during 2,510 exposure days, despite differences in habitat conditions between years. We used the binomial distribution to calculate daily and 30-day survival estimates plus 95% confidence intervals of 0.9988 ltoreq 0.9997 ltoreq 1.00 and 0.9648 ltoreq 0.9925 ltoreq 1.00, respectively. Our data indirectly support the hypothesis that hunting mortality and habitat conditions during the hunting season are the major determinants of winter survival for female mallards in Arkansas.
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Late winter survival of female mallards in Arkansas