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A Walk-in Trap for Nesting Ducks

Nancy J. Dietz, Peter J. Bergmann, and Lester D. Flake


Several devices have been used to capture female ducks on their nests, including a purse-string trap (Coulter 1958), an automatic sliding-door trap (Weller 1957), a bow-net trap (Salyer 1962), and a horizontal mist net (Bacon and Evrard 1990). We found the purse-string trap, bow-net trap, and horizontal mist net difficult to use or ineffective in capturing mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) nesting in dense woody or herbaceous vegetation, or near shoreline rock piles, fallen logs, and tree trunks. Purse-string traps sometimes did not close completely in the dense vegetation. Bow-net traps were impeded by shrubs and dense, tall herbaceous vegetation, and the trap did not fit into small spaces where females nested among rocks and against logs and trees. Moreover, the trap could not be staked down in rocky areas. Mist nets tangled, especially amid shrubs and small trees. Consequently, we developed a trap similar in shape to a sliding-door trap (Weller 1957) but with a funnel entrance that would not tangle in vegetation. We describe this trap and its use in a variety of terrains and vegetation types.

Key words: Anas platyrhynchos, mallard, nesting, trap, waterfowl


This resource is based on the following resource (Northern Prairie Publication 0899):

Dietz, Nancy J., Peter J. Bergmann, and Lester D. Flake.  1994.  A walk-in trap for nesting ducks.  Wildlife Society Bulletin 22:19-22.

This resource should be cited as:

Dietz, Nancy J., Peter J. Bergmann, and Lester D. Flake.  1994.  A walk-in trap for nesting ducks.  Wildlife Society Bulletin 22:19-22.  Jamestown, ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/ducktrap/index.htm  (Version 04SEP2003).


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Nancy J. Dietz, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, National Biological Survey, Rural Route 1, Box 96C, Jamestown, ND 58401. Present address: BlueStem, Incorporated, P.O. Box 2432, Bismarck, ND 58502.

Peter J. Bergmann, South Dakota State University, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, P.O. Box 2206, Brookings, SD 57007. Present address: Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901.

Lester D. Flake, South Dakota State University, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, P.O. Box 2206, Brookings, SD 57007.

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