Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
|Study||Year and location||Species||Nest success (%)|
|Crop- land||Grazed grass- land||Hay- land||Planted cover||Wet- land||Right- of-way||Odd areaa|
|Cowardin et al. (1985)||1977-80; N.D.||mallard||<1||12||7||nab||7||3||11|
|Johnson et al. (1987)||1983; N.D., S.D., Mont.||dabbling ducks||3||13||22||19||10||6||10|
|Klett et al. (1988)||1966-84c; N.D., S.D., Minn.||5 common speciesd||6||14||10||13||14||9||4|
|Present study||1982-85; Alta., Sask., Manit.||5 common speciesd||2||17e||18||na||16||8||11|
|aOdd area included
patches of cover <2 ha in size and an array of features usually found
in Cropland (e.g., rock piles, gravel borrow pits, narrow
borders of upland vegetation around Wetland and along fences between areas
bHabitat class not available.
cWe pooled the annual estimates for all species for period 1980-84 in N.D. and calculated the average, weighted by annual estimated number of nests initiated.
dMallard, gadwall, blue-winged teal, northern shoveler, and northern pintail.
eWe pooled our annual estimates for our classes Grass and Brush and calculated the overall average for all years.
Because we focused on areas of high mallard densities, our results may not apply generally to the entire Canadian PPR. The relatively high breeding populations of mallards on areas we selected for study suggest that adequate numbers of wetlands were present to support duck populations. Many of our study areas also contained relatively large tracts of native prairie grassland that sometimes was contiguous with an adjacent area of grassland. Ducks associated with large grasslands may have benefited from factors such as relatively favorable predator communities (e.g., dominated by coyotes) (Sovada et al. 1995) and stable amounts of upland vegetation for nesting. If our results are biased because we focused on areas where mallard populations were high and habitat conditions favored duck protection, then we believe they are biased toward the best remaining areas of this important breeding ground, and large portions of this area of Canada may be less suitable for nesting ducks than we observed.