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Wetland Symposium

Waterfowl Use of Created Wetlands for Highway Mitigation Projects in North Dakota


University of North Dakota, Department of Biology, Grand Forks, ND 58202-9019; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1500 Capital Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58501; North Dakota Game and Fish Department, 100 North Bismarck Expressway, Bismarck, ND 58501-5095

Waterfowl use and invertebrate abundance of 20 wetlands created from 1975 to 1980 by the North Dakota Highway Department for mitigation purposes were evaluated from 1979 to 1983. On a pairs/ha basis, created wetlands had a higher mean waterfowl pair use than natural wetlands. However, this may have been an artifact of wetland size, because most created wetlands were smaller than natural basins used as comparisons. On a pairs/pond basis, natural wetlands showed higher mean pair densities. Duckling production on created wetlands compared favorably with natural basins but was highly variable between years and among wetland sizes. Natural wetlands had a higher diversity and density of aquatic invertebrates. Excluding waterfowl, 59 species of marsh, shore, and upland birds from 18 other families were recorded on or near the created wetlands studied. Management recommendations will be explored during the presentation.

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