Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Duck Nesting in the Northern Great Plains
- areas vegetated with various mixtures of grasses, forbs, and short woody
species (such areas were normally grazed).
- same as Grassland but situated on land owned by the Fish and Wildlife
Service and normally ungrazed.
- areas that have been plowed and seeded to mixtures of grasses or legumes
for forage production and that are hayed annually (Native grass or wetland
areas that are occasionally hayed were included under grassland or wetland.).
- Planted cover
- areas that are planted to mixtures of grasses and legumes for producing
wildlife cover or for stabilizing soil under land retirement programs, except
Conservation Reserve Program lands.
- agricultural areas enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program during the
current nesting season.
- areas that are planted to grain or row crops, or that are plowed and left
- areas dominated (areal coverage greater than 30%) by trees or tall shrubs
(6.0 m or greater in height).
- areas dominated by short shrubs (0.5-6.0 m tall).
- small patches of cover (less than 2 ha in size) surrounded by large areas
of a cover class characterized by shorter vegetation (also included features
such as rock piles, hay bales, shelterbelts, and farmsteads, regardless of
- areas between road surface or railroad bed and adjacent fence line or cropland
- areas where there is no probability of a duck nesting, such as road surfaces,
mud flats, and open water.
- all areas defined as wetland by Cowardin et al. (1979) that contained emergent
nesting cover except scrub-shrub and forested wetland. Semipermanently flooded
emergent wetland is composed of a mixture of emergent cover, in which a bird
could nest, and open water or submergent vegetaion. We converted half of the
area in this class to barren and half to emergent nesting cover. We had no
data for nesting in scrub-shrub and forested wetland. For analysis of nesting,
scrub-shrub and forested wetlands are physiognomically more like areas classed
as "other habitats" than wetlands so we included them in that class.
- naturally occuring and created islands.
- * for purposes of summarizing nesting results, woodland, shrubland
and odd area habitat classes are combined into a class called Other.
Cowardin, L. M., V. Carter, F. C. Golet, and E. T. LaRoe. 1979. Classification of
wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States. U. S. Fish Wildl. Serv.,
FWS/OBS-79/31. 103 pp.
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