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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Wood Duck Demography in WI: Pilot Season Field Methods and Summary

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AUTHORS: Kali Rush and Jacob Straub, College of Natural Resources, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Taylor Finger, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: Wood ducks are the second most abundant breeding duck species in Wisconsin, but their populations here and in other Great Lakes States may be declining. The wood duck is a focal species in the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture (JV) waterfowl habitat conservation strategy. The JV estimates their breeding population is lower than the objective population based on regional abundance surveys. Wisconsin has used liberal hunting regulations (i.e. 3 wood ducks/day) since 2008 but it is unclear the role harvest plays in population change. To begin to understand wood duck population demography, we collected breeding season vital rate information in a pilot season in Mead Wildlife Area, Wisconsin in March through July 2017. Vital rates included hen and brood survival and we plan to compare these rates with different nest type and between habitat types. Hen wood ducks were captured using decoy traps and while using nest boxes. Captured hens were monitored using VHF telemetry up to 30 days post-hatch. Efforts were made to estimate breeding propensity, clutch size, nest success, hen breeding season survival, brood survival, and brood movements. The pilot season resulted in 68 wood ducks (18 female) captured in six traps totaling 118 trap days. We observed a capture rate of 0.15 female wood ducks/day. We deployed 23 transmitters but 11 were censured because of leaving the study area, mortality, and collar failure. Because of censured data and transmitter failure we only followed 3 broods of which 1 survived to 30. Decoy traps and nest boxes were successful in trapping pre-nesting season females. In following years, survival and other vital rates will be analyzed.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer