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Ecology and Management of Islands, Peninsulas and Structures for Nesting Waterfowl

Artificial Nesting Islands: Ducks Unlimited Canada Experiences in Western Canada

Donald Sexton, Robert J. MacFarlane and Gary Stewart
Ducks Unlimited Canada
P.O. Box 4465
1606-4th Avenue
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada S4P 3W7


Ducks Unlimited Canada constructs nesting islands to enhance waterfowl production on projects secured by long term agreement. Nesting islands formed a significant portion of the construction program between 1976 and 1983. Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba continue to be the primary locations for a more selective nesting island program. Their current inventory now totals 3,559 nesting islands. Based on field experiences, staff now employ a standard nesting island with guidelines on design, location, construction and establishment of nesting cover. This poster describes the latter and notes typical costs for specific construction conditions. Recommendations for problems associated with wave erosion, settlement and soil salinity are outlined. Duck nesting on constructed islands was intensively evaluated from 1976-1984. Data was re-analyzed in 1985 for relationships of nest density and success to an island's location, vegetative cover and breeding pair population. These results as well as duck production are summarized for those nesting islands constructed in prairie, aspen parkland and forest biomes.
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