Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
In 1952, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) established two areas of intensive water fowl surveys and ecological research in prairie Canada (Smith 1971; Stoudt 1971). The study objectives emphasized the ecological factors that affect waterfowl production in the Canadian parkland areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan. In 1964, the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, including the Woodworth Field Station, was established in south-central North Dakota for the purpose of conducting waterfowl and wetland research.
An early task of the Center was to initiate studies similar to those being done by the Service in Canada. Work was begun to collect a set of long-term baseline data on the ecological and agricultural factors that affect waterfowl production in the United States portion of the prairie pothole region of the northern Great Plains. Much of the data collected during the Woodworth Station studies were from surveys and inventories and, for the most part, without a rigid design to facilitate statistical analyses. As such, most of the data treatment in this paper is more descriptive than statistical in nature. However, we have applied statistical treatment to some data sets to aid reader interpretation.
Because results of the two Canadian studies, as well as several other former studies, were presented in English equivalents only, we have either used metric and English together or have constructed our metric categories to match the size classes or unit increments (e.g., 40.5 ha equals 100 acres) of the former studies to aid direct comparisons.
The four authors have been associated with or knowledgeable about the overall studies on the Woodworth Station during the 17 years even though one transferred (HWM-1975) and one retired (LMK-1979) before the end of the data collection in 1981. We believe this continuity of involvement enhanced our ability to interpret and discuss the data and field observations.
We trust this report will be of importance to the overall international effort to better understand and manage the world's waterfowl populations.