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Age-Specific Survival and Philopatry in Three Species of European Ducks: A Long-Term Study

Peter Blums, Aivars Mednis, Ilmars Bauga, James D. Nichols and James E. Hines
The Condor
Vol. 98, No. 1 (Feb., 1996), pp. 61-74
DOI: 10.2307/1369509
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1369509
Page Count: 14
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Age-Specific Survival and Philopatry in Three Species of European Ducks: A Long-Term Study
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Abstract

Capture-recapture and band recovery models were used to estimate age-specific survival probabilities for female Northern Shovelers (Anas clypeata), Common Pochards (Aythya ferina), and Tufted Ducks (Aythya fuligula) at Engure Marsh, Latvia, in 1964-1993. We banded more than 65,100 day-old ducklings of both sexes and captured 10,211 incubating females (3,713 new bandings and 6,498 recaptures). We developed a set of 3-age capture-recapture models to estimate annual survival rates for female ducklings, yearlings (SY), and adults (ASY) using programs SURGE and SURVIV and selected parsimonious models using a method developed by Akaike (1973). Survival rates of SY and ASY females were highest for Tufted Ducks intermediate for Common Pochards, and lowest for Northern Shovelers. Survival rates of SY and ASY females varied in parallel for shovelers and pochards. We believe that much of the difference in survival estimates between SY and ASY birds was caused by mortality rather than permanent emigration. Estimates of day-old duckling survival, reflecting both mortality and permanent emigration, were 0.12 for shoveler, 0.06 for pochard, and 0.03 for Tufted Duck. For all species, duckling survival varied over years, but the pattern of variation was not similar to that of the other age classes. Estimates of survival using band recovery data for SY + ASY female pochards and Tufted Ducks were similar to the capture-recapture estimates, suggesting that surviving females returned to the breeding marsh with probabilities approaching 1.

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