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Habitat Use by Mallards during Spring Migration through Central Iowa

Theodore G. LaGrange and James J. Dinsmore
The Journal of Wildlife Management
Vol. 53, No. 4 (Oct., 1989), pp. 1076-1081
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Wildlife Society
DOI: 10.2307/3809613
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3809613
Page Count: 6
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Habitat Use by Mallards during Spring Migration through Central Iowa
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Abstract

We studied the use of 455 seasonally flooded farmed basins (sheetwater wetlands) and 16 small emergent wetlands by migratory mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) in central Iowa during spring 1983-84. During daytime, sheetwater wetlands provided 19,530 mallard use days compared with 103 on the few remaining emergent wetlands. Mallards used larger (>2 ha) versus smaller sheetwater wetlands, moist-soil or corn-vegetated wetlands more than emergent wetlands or soybean-vegetated wetlands, untilled wetlands more than conservation-tilled or plowed sheetwater wetlands, and sheetwater wetlands located farther from disturbance. Mallards used sheetwater wetlands during all daylight hours, but flew ≤13 km to roost on larger emergent wetlands. A diversity of habitats appears necessary for spring migratory mallards: sheetwater wetlands provide food and high-energy seeds and emergent wetlands provide nighttime cover.

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