Post-fledging movement and habitat selection by mallards in the fall and their effect on spring recruitment

Science Center Objects

Considerable scientific research has been conducted in North America on nearly all aspects of the annual cycle of mallards, primarily focused on the breeding season. However, the period between when juveniles are capable of flight to their first southward migration remains a vastly understudied time for all waterfowl species. Beginning in 2018, a graduate student from South Dakota State University and co-advised by a NPWRC scientist will quantify movements of during the post-fledge period of juvenal mallard hatched in North and South Dakota. Using internally implanted transmitters that collect global positioning system coordinates, we will investigate potential causes for movements of post-fledging mallards, including the role of key landscape parameters in influencing habitat selection and space use. A research goal is to draw inferences of observed post-breeding movements and habitat use with respect to waterfowl hunters to assist state game agencies for conservation planning and management.