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Mallard Brood Survival and Wetland Habitat Conditions in Southwestern Manitoba

Jay J. Rotella and John T. Ratti
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 56, No. 3 (Jul., 1992), pp. 499-507
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3808865
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3808865
Page Count: 9
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Mallard Brood Survival and Wetland Habitat Conditions in Southwestern Manitoba
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Abstract

Although the primary mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) breeding area in North America has been greatly modified by agriculture, the relationship between habitat loss and mallard recruitment is not well understood. Consequently, we used radio telemetry to estimate brood and duckling survival for 69 mallard broods in southwestern Manitoba, 1987-89, and tested for effects of habitat conditions and hatching date. Annual brood and duckling survival averaged 0.49 (range = 0.34-0.70) and 0.22 (range = 0.16-0.26), respectively. Brood survival was greatest (P = 0.09) in the wettest year. Logistic regression analysis indicated (Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit Chi-square = 5.16, 8 df, P = 0.74) that brood survival was directly related to wetland density and inversely related to hatching date. Duckling survival was similar (P = 0.13) among years and was greatest (P = 0.01) for ducklings hatched before 19 June in areas with high wetland density. We suggest that management should be directed at promoting early hatching in areas of high wetland density by improving the quality and quantity of nesting cover.

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