Habitat use by female mallards in the lower Mississippi alluvial valley

Journal of Wildlife Management
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries; Ducks Unlimited, Inc.; United States Fish and Wildlife Service; United States Geological Survey (USGS); Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
By: , and 

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Abstract

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) populations in the lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (LMAV), USA, historically averaged 1.6 million and represented the largest concentrations of wintering mallards in North America. Effective management of this wintering population requires current information on use of habitats. Accordingly, we employed radiotelemetry techniques to assess proportional use of habitats by female mallards during winters 2004-2005 and 2005-2006. We divided winters into 4 time periods defined by hunting seasons (FIRST, SPLIT, SECOND, and POST) and recorded diurnal and nocturnal locations. We examined variations in proportional use of habitats and use of areas closed to hunting due to effects of age (immature or ad), winter (2004-2005 or 2005-2006), time period (SECOND or POST), individual female, and all potential interactions of these effects, using locations recorded during the latter 2 time periods. We found that diurnal and nocturnal proportional use of habitats varied inconsistently among time periods and winters. Mean proportional use of forested wetlands ranged from 0.475 to 0.816 and from 0.428 to 0.764 during diurnal and nocturnal sampling periods, respectively. Diurnal proportional use of areas closed to hunting varied inconsistently among time periods and winters. Mean proportional use of areas closed to hunting ranged from 0.183 to 0.423 during diurnal sampling periods. Nocturnal use of areas closed to hunting varied inconsistently among female ages and time periods and among female ages and winters. Mean proportional use of areas closed to hunting ranged from 0.211 to 0.445 during nocturnal sampling periods. Our research suggests that forested wetlands in the LMAV provide important wintering habitats for female mallards; continued restoration and establishment of these habitats should benefit female mallards.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Habitat use by female mallards in the lower Mississippi alluvial valley
Series title Journal of Wildlife Management
DOI 10.2193/2008-118
Volume 73
Issue 5
Year Published 2009
Language English
Publisher Wildlife Society
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 9 p.
First page 701
Last page 709
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N