Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Scott Petrie

Second Advisor

Dr. Jack Millar

Third Advisor

Dr. Yolanda Morbey


Waterfowl produced on the mixed woodland plain (MWP) of southern Ontario contribute substantially to regional sport harvest and are economically important. I studied how habitat characteristics affected the distribution and abundance (settling patterns) of breeding mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and Canada geese (Branta canadensis maxima) in the MWP. Additionally, I tested a hypothesis that Canada geese competitively exclude mallards from breeding habitat in the MWP. Aerial surveys, remote sensing, and geographic information systems (GIS) technology were used to assess these relationships at several spatial scales. Mallards had positive associations with the density of emergent, temporary open-water, and riverine wetlands and perennial fields at several spatial scales. Canada goose results were more scale-dependent, but density of riverine, forested and permanent open water wetlands and areas of emergent wetlands and annually cropped fields were important. I found a positive spatial relationship between species. These results will facilitate habitat conservation directives for the MWP.



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