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Interpreting Evidence of Depredation of Duck Nests
in the Prairie Pothole Region


Data for this report were collected intermittently during a 20-year period in conjunction with numerous investigations by staff at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. We especially thank former Directors W. R. Goforth, H. K. Nelson, and R. C. Stendell, and Section Chiefs F. B. Lee and D. H. Johnson for their encouragement and support. A major phase of our work was part of a study of waterfowl recruitment conducted in collaboration with the Canadian Wildlife Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Migratory Bird Management. We especially appreciate the assistance R. S. Pospahala, Office of Migratory Bird Management, and R. K. Brace, Canadian Wildlife Service, for financial, logistical, and field support. We thank R. K. Brace and G. F. Bogdan, Canadian Wildlife Service, for arranging for necessary permits to conduct work with artificial duck nests in Canada.

We appreciate the help of many individuals who assisted with this study, especially W. B. Bicknell, T. K. Bollinger, J. M. Callow, E. J. Clem, J. 0. Hastings, L. E. Eberhardt, A. D. Kruse, J. T. Lokemoen, S. A. Norland, J. L. Piehl, E. M. Preston, J. L. Preston, and J. M. Roaldson for data collection; S. H. Allen for help in obtaining study animals; J. P. Fleskes, S. A. Norland, T. D. Kostinec and C. VanFossen for certain observations referred to in text; J. P. Fleskes for providing eggshells of eggs depredated by weasels; E. C. Birney, W. J. Bleier, and R. W. Seabloom for cooperation in obtaining measurements from skulls of carnivores in collections in museums; and K. Forman, M. A. Johnson, D. A. Leschisin, L. A. Lysne, D. T. McKinnon, R. E. Reynolds, A. J. Rondeau, M. Rule, and G. C. Trottier for field trials of nest depredation records. We thank J. A. Beiser, K. M. Kraft, and C. L. Nustad for assistance with data analyses, and R. D. Thielman for photographic assistance. We thank D. P. Fellows, H. A. Kantrud, J. T. Lokemoen, D. T. McKinnon, R. E. Reynolds, and G. C. Trottier for review of manuscript drafts. We thank E. D. Rockwell of former National Biological Service, Information Transfer Center, and 2 anonymous referees for peer review of the manuscript. We thank R. M. Kaminski for editorial assistance, and Ducks Unlimited, Incorporated, for making possible publication of the manuscript. We especially thank Ducks Unlimited's Cecile Birchler who designed the publication and Heather Bond who provided invaluable assistance in managing the production process.

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