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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Waterfowl Communities in the Northern Plains


Mallard. -- This species is the most widespread of the ducks, with a distribution centered in the southern Prairie Provinces of Canada; the stratum containing the Woodworth Study Area is in the second highest quartile of average densities (Johnson and Grier, 1988). Continental populations rose during 1965-1970, after which they declined (Fig. 4); however, numbers at Woodworth varied moderately without any evident trend.

GIF - Species Counts

Mallards at Woodworth were not strongly correlated with May ponds; Trauger and Stoudt (1978) and Leitch and Kaminski (1985) also noted no relations between mallard numbers and pond counts. In contrast, Johnson and Grier (1988) found that numbers of mallards correlated closely with pond counts in the Dakotas. The low correlation of mallard numbers with ponds at Woodworth may reflect the ability of this species to use a wide variety of wetland classes, including some of the more permanent wetlands, at Woodworth (Stewart and Kantrud, 1973). Its cosmopolitan habitat use conforms with the observation that proximate weather features did not seem to influence mallard numbers on the Woodworth Study Area.

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