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

New Opportunities on Privately Owned Land: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Extension Program Predator Management

Ronald A Stromstad
Wildlife Biologist

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
ND Wetland Habitat Office
1500 Capitol Avenue
Bismarck, North Dakota 58501
(701) 250-4403

In 1987, the Fish and Wildlife Service initiated a pilot program designed to improve waterfowl production on privately owned land and to foster an improved working relationship with North Dakota landowners. The ND Wildlife Extension Program attempts to achieve these goals by providing technical expertise and financial incentives to landowners, and educational materials for the general public.

One aspect of the program that appears to have waterfowl production potential is to secure landowner agreements that allow the Service access to privately owned land to conduct predator management activities. The program has focused on predator management on islands and peninsulas protected by predator barriers.

Agreements have been secured with 37 landowners to remove predators from 37 islands in 1988, as well as construction of barrier fences on 5 sites, with others in various stages of planning. Predators are controlled by either Service personnel or Animal Damage Control (ADC) agents of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Landowner acceptance of the program is positive, and preliminary nest surveys indicate relatively high nest densities and success. The future potential of this aspect of the ND Wildlife Extension Program is high, but careful selection of potential sites is a key to the economic efficiency of the program.

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