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Factors influencing depredation of artificial duck nests

January 1, 1993

Because artificial nests can facilitate controlled experiments of nest success, we used them to assess whether human visitation, nest density, vegetation structure, and proximity to habitat edge could affect depredation of duck nests on Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. More (P < 0.01) nests in a plot visited daily (100%) were depredated than those in plots visited at intervals of 7 (40%), 14 (35%), or 28 days (45%). More (P < 0.01) nests were depredated in a plot with 10 nests/ha (95%) than nests in a plot of a lower density (2/ha; 40%). Vegetation height, vegetation density, distance to a wetland, distance to forest edge, or distance to the nearest ecotone did not differ (P > 0.05) between depredated and undisturbed nests. We suggest that daily visitation of duck nests increases depredation, but longer intervals, typical of most nest studies, do not. High nesting densities, which could occur when flooding limits nesting habitat, may result in higher depredation rates.

Publication Year 1993
Title Factors influencing depredation of artificial duck nests
DOI 10.2307/3809420
Authors Daniel Esler, J. Barry Grand
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Wildlife Management
Index ID 70184281
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center; Alaska Science Center Biology MFEB; Coop Res Unit Atlanta