Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
The author wrote that there has always been controversy over the effect of human intrusion on predation during nesting studies. Tracks and trails leading to nest, nest markers, disturbance of nest cover, and observation of nest-finding activity, etc., have been cited as evoking increased predation. Hammond and Forward (1956) thoroughly discussed this problem on the basis of extensive experience at the Lower Souris Refuge, and concluded that when reasonable care was exercised, these factors usually were of minor consequence. However, the author believes there is a much more serious threat to waterfowl in areas where sport fish occur, and that is the general disturbance caused by fishermen. Fishing is a popular recreation on the prairies, and available waters are heavily used. Breeding birds and their young seem to find this disruption intolerable waterfowl populations and production seem to be low under these circumstances. In Alberta this danger has recently grown as small impoundments that previously lacked fish are now being stocked with trout (Salmo spp.).