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Reduced Avian Nest Predation Through the Use of the Avicide


Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, P.0. Box 998, Townsend,
MT 59644; Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, 1420 East
Sixth, Helena, MT 59644; Montana State University, Fish and Wildlife
Program, Department of Biology, Bozeman, MT 59717-0001

Intensive duck nest surveys were initiated in 1982 on newly created islands in Pond 3 on the Canyon Ferry Wildlife Management Area. Initial surveys showed a pioneering population, predominantly mallards, with high nest success. Subsequent annual surveys showed an expanding population with decreasing nest success. Nest predation, primarily by black-billed magpies, was the major contributing factor in this decline. In 1986, a 5-year control program was initiated using the avicide DRC-1339. Avian predation has decreased from a high of 36 % in the year preceding the control program to a low of 4 % in 1989. Correspondingly, nest success has increased from a low of 39 % in 1985 to 71 % in 1989.
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