Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Science

Program

Biology

Supervisor

Dr. Scott Petrie

2nd Supervisor

Dr. Hugh Henry

Joint Supervisor

Abstract

Nest box programs provide additional nesting opportunities for wood ducks throughout their breeding range. The purpose of my research was to understand habitat use and survival of wood ducks produced from nest boxes during the brood-rearing period. I used radio-telemetry to monitor female wood ducks and ducklings to 30 days post-hatch. Females showed the greatest selection for swamp, scrub-shrub, and emergent marsh habitats, and used emergent marsh most. Female survival was high (0.90, 95% CI = 0.81 – 1.0). Conversely, brood survival (0.47, 95% CI = 0.33 - 0.69) and duckling survival (0.18, 95% CI = 0.14 – 0.22) were low, but similar to estimates from other studies. Brood survival decreased with hatch date, but increased with precipitation. Duckling survival was greater with younger and heavier females, and decreased with increased brood size. Management should focus on conservation and provision of swamp and scrub-shrub habitats, and increasing duckling survival to benefit recruitment.


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