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Influence of Age and Selected Environmental Factors
on Reproductive Performance of Canvasbacks

Management Implications

The strong affinity of canvasback females to return to their natal areas and the influence of age on breeding success may have important management implications for increasing local breeding populations. Because SY females appear to have a lower recruitment into the spring breeding population and have generally lower hen success than older birds, any management action that increases first year survival (i.e., reduces sport harvest and non-hunting mortality) and increases nest success (reduces predation), should not only increase the size of the breeding population but also increase its reproductive potential to contribute in future years. Similarly, since the probability of ASY females returning to a particular habitat is quite high, once they survive their initial year, management practices that increase hen success (i.e., water management to increase available nesting habitat or reduce nest losses by predation), especially during drier years, also should increase the autumn flight and contribute to the breeding population the following spring.
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