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Predator Management in Western Minnesota

KEVIN J. BRENNAN

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fergus Falls Wetland Management District,
Route 1, Box 76, Fergus Falls, MN 56537


Six predator exclosures were operated on 186 acres over a 3-year period on Federal Waterfowl Production Areas (WPAs) in west-central Minnesota. Duck nest success ranged from 44% to 100% inside the exclosures. Duck nest success during the same period on WPAs without exclosures ranged from 13 to 38%. Construction costs for predator exclosures range from $2.05 to $4.29 per foot while implementation of seasonal predator control costs from $3.25 to $4.31 per acre per year. Analysis of the costs of ducklings recruited to flight stage inside exclosures range from $5.42 to $27.02 each while costs per recruited duckling on WPAs without exclosures range from $28.90 to $422.43. As duck nesting densities increased with the age of the exclosures, cost per recruited duckling decreased. Predator management via exclosures is producing ducks more cost effective than no predator management.
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