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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Waterfowl Communities in the Northern Plains


Although waterfowl have been well studied generally, less work has been done on their community ecology. This paper addresses that topic using 25 years of counts of breeding ducks at a prairie-wetland site near Woodworth, North Dakota. Counts of 11 species at the site were related to the number of wetland basins containing water, an index of conserved soil moisture, temperature and precipitation measurements in April and May, an index of continental population sizes, and the counts at the census site during the previous year. All explanatory variables were related to the count of one or more waterfowl species, but the number of ponds and the continental population size were significant for more of the species than were the other variables.
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