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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Homing and Reproductive Habits of Mallards,
Gadwalls, and Blue-winged Teal

Study Area

Two replicate study areas, each 22.6 km2, in the prairie pothole region of North Dakota were selected (Fig. 1). The Koenig study area was composed of 40% cropland, 30% grazed mixed-grass prairie, 10% hayland, 10% wetlands, and 10% miscellaneous land use. Land use, wetland area, and breeding duck populations on the Woodworth study area were similar to those on the Koenig study area. Both study areas were located in the gently to moderately rolling Missouri Coteau physiographic region (Stewart and Kantrud 1973). Seasonal and semipermanent wetland basins (Stewart and Kantrud 1971) made up 90% of the wetland area. Vegetation in seasonal wetlands was predominantly awned sedge (Carex atherodes), whitetop rivergrass (Scolochloa festucacea), and marsh knotweed (Polygonum coccineum). In semipermanent wetlands, cattail (Typha spp.), tule bulrush (Scirpus acutus), and white top rivergrass were dominant. Land use typical of the region occurred on the Koenig study area in 1976-78, but a 40-ha field of seeded nesting cover was established in 1979. Seeded nesting cover was present on the Woodworth study area during the entire study.

GIF -- study areas

Fig. 1.   Habitat pattern, location, and physical arrangement of the Koenig and Woodworth study areas, North Dakota.

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