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Premium Simulations of wood duck recruitment from nest boxes in Mississippi and Alabama
Davis J. Brian,
Straub Jacob N.,
Wang Guiming,
Kaminski Richard M.,
Leopold Bruce D.
Publication year2015
Publication title
the journal of wildlife management
Resource typeJournals
ABSTRACT Since the early 20th century, wildlife managers have deployed artificial nesting structures for wood ducks ( Aix sponsa ) to increase availability of nest sites and local reproduction of the species. However, knowledge is lacking of the effects of nest structure size (i.e., large vs. small; Stephens et al. 1998) and reproductive data (e.g., clutch size, hatch date, duckling survival) on recruitment of wood ducks. We used stochastic simulation analyses to predict recruitment of wood ducks into late summer by analyzing data from a 6‐year study of box‐nesting wood ducks, and 4‐year (Mississippi) and 2‐year (Alabama) studies of radio‐marked female wood ducks and their ducklings. Our index of recruitment was the number of radio‐marked ducklings per nest box that survived until 1 September. Ducklings hatched after 1 June exhibited a 30‐day survival probability of 0.29, which was nearly 3 times greater than those hatched before 1 June. In east‐central Mississippi, 68% and 65% of total wood duck recruits from large and small boxes, respectively, were hatched and reared from June to August. In western Mississippi, 91% of recruits from each box size also were hatched and reared from June to August. Mean number of wood duck recruits produced from large boxes was greater than small boxes at each study site; each large box in western Mississippi produced approximately 4 recruits on average, whereas small boxes in east‐central Mississippi produced approximately 1 recruit. Wood duck recruits in our study resulted primarily from late spring and summer hatched birds in contrast to most Nearctic ducks with adaptive, early nesting to promote recruitment. In Mississippi and similar southern environments, we recommend use of large boxes and cleaning boxes around 1 May after completion of initial nests, and emphasize the importance of late spring and summer duckling production to wood duck recruitment. © 2015 The Wildlife Society.
Subject(s)avian clutch size , biochemistry , biology , ecology , fishery , nest (protein structural motif) , nest box , predation , reproduction , wildlife , wildlife refuge , zoology
SCImago Journal Rank0.94

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