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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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A Walk-in Trap For Nesting Ducks

Management Recommendations

Although we only trapped mallards, we believe the walk-in trap could be used to capture other species of upland-nesting ducks, as well as other species of ground-nesting birds. We suggest that the automatic nest-trap described by Weller (1957) would be more effective for divers (Aythyini) or other species nesting over water because of difficulty in quickly reaching the walk-in trap before the female exits. The walk-in trap also may work on nesting geese, particularly on upland sites. Use on intermediate-to-large geese would require a sturdier and larger trap with additional staking. The walk-in trap provides a simple and inexpensive alternative to traditional traps and has no moving parts that might fail in heavy cover. It also is versatile, quickly assembled, and can be built to capture waterfowl in situations where traditional methods may not be effective. We recommend use of this trap for nesting waterfowl in grass, shrub, or herbaceous cover where researchers can make a concealed approach. Nesting ducks may exit the trap before capture in vegetation where they can observe approaching personnel at 15 m or more.

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