Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Ecology and Management of Islands, Peninsulas and Structures for Nesting
Boosting Production with Baskets and Barriers
Kevin J. Brennan
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Fergus Falls, Minnesota 56537
In the winter of 1986-87 968 nest baskets were supplied by Ducks Unlimited for
placement on Federal Waterfowl Production Areas throughout Wetland Management
Districts (WMD's) in Western Minnesota. These baskets were placed in wetlands
to increase the production of waterfowl, especially of mallards. Baskets were
monitored for use in 1987. Use in 1987 varied from 1% on the Litchfield WMD to
10% in the Morris WMD. Success varied from 20% on the Detroit Lakes WMD to 100%
on the Litchfield WMD. The observed nest success rates indicated nest baskets
are a viable management tool.
Six predator exclosures of various types have been operated within the Fergus
Falls WMD for periods varying from 1 to 10 years. These exclosures were constructed
and operated to increase waterfowl production. Management techniques, including
cover removal around the exclosures, seasonal removal of predators and fertilization
of a wetland within the exclosures were used to attract waterfowl to the exclosure.
The exclosures were monitored yearly for nesting waterfowl use and success.
Use varied from 2.6 nests per acre to .13 nests per acre with nest success as
low as 0% and as high as 100%. Results of this work indicate predator barriers
combined with other management techniques can boost waterfowl production.
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Electric Predator Barrier on Lake Albert in South Dakota