Movement distances and habitat switching by female Mallards wintering in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Ducks Unlimited, Inc. USFWS USGS-Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center School of Renewable Natural Resources Agricultural Center Graduate School USGS-Louisiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Louisiana State University
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Mallard (Anus platyrhynchos) populations in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (hereafter, LMAV) comprise the largest concentration of wintering Mallards in North America. Radiotelemetry techniques were employed to assess movements by female Mallards during winters of 2004-2005 and 2005-2006; 467 paired (diurnal and nocturnal) observations on 80 radiomarked females were attained to assess effects of date, female age, hunting regime and habitat type on distances moved and potential habitat switching. Distance moved increased with date for females diurnally located in RICE but decreased for females in FOREST. Median movement distance was 1.5 km, suggesting suitable habitats for all activities were in close proximity. Habitat switching varied among diurnal habitat types used by females. Females diurnally located in FOREST and REFOR switched habitats in <= 22% of paired observations, whereas females diurnally located in RICE switched habitats in 55% of paired observations. The decreased movement distances and less frequent habitat switching by females using forested habitats should reduce their energy expenditure and exposure to predation risk. The results document the importance of forested wet-lands to Mallards wintering in the LMAV and provide support for programs that protect and restore such habitats. Received 18 November 2009, accepted 16 January 2010.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Movement distances and habitat switching by female Mallards wintering in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley
Series title Waterbirds
DOI 10.1675/063.033.0311
Volume 33
Issue 3
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher The Waterbird Society
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 8 p.
First page 349
Last page 356
Country United States
State Lousiana
Other Geospatial Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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