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Duck Nest Success in the Prairie Pothole Region

by

Albert T. Klett, Terry L. Shaffer, Douglas H. Johnson*


Abstract: We estimated nest success of mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), gadwall (A. strepera), blue-winged teal (A. discors), northern shoveler (A. clypeata), and northern pintail (A. acuta) for 5 regions in North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota, for 1-3 periods between 1966 and 1984, and for 8 habitat classes. We obtained composite estimates of nest success for regions and periods by weighting each habitat proportional to the number of nest initiations. The distribution of nest initiations was derived from estimates of breeding populations, preferences of species for nesting habitats, and availability of habitats. Nest success rates ranged from <5 to 36% among regions, periods, and species. Rates were lowest in western Minnesota (MNW) and eastern North Dakota (NDE), intermediate in central North Dakota (NDC) and eastern South Dakota (SDE), and highest in central South Dakota (SDC). In regions with comparable data, no consistent trend in nest success was apparent from early to late periods. Gadwalls and blue-winged teal nested more successfully than mallards and pintails; the relative success of shovelers varied regionally. Ducks nesting in idle grassland were the most successful and those nesting in cropland were least successful. Mammalian predation was the major cause of nesting failure (54-85%) in all habitats, but farming operations resulted in 37 and 27% of the nesting failures in cropland and hayland, respectively. Most of the populations studied were not self-sustaining.
This resource is based on the following source (Northern Prairie Publication 0701):
Klett, Albert T., Terry L. Shaffer, and Douglas H. Johnson.  1988.  Duck nest 
     success in the prairie pothole region.  Journal of Wildlife Management 
     52(3):431-440.

This resource should be cited as:

Klett, Albert T., Terry L. Shaffer, and Douglas H. Johnson.  1988.  Duck nest 
     success in the prairie pothole region.  Journal of Wildlife Management 
     52(3):431-440.  Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center 
     Online.  http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/dnsuc/index.htm  
     (Version 18SEP2000).

Table of Contents

Tables and Figures


* U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, ND 58402 (All Authors)

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