Title page for ETD etd-10292007-104319

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Davis, Bruce Edward
Author's Email Address bdavi29@lsu.edu
URN etd-10292007-104319
Title Habitat Use, Movements, and Survival of Radio-Marked Female Mallards in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Renewable Natural Resources
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Alan D. Afton Committee Chair
Kevin S McCarter Committee Member
Robert R. Cox, Jr. Committee Member
Thomas E. Moorman Committee Member
  • nocturnal
  • radio-telemetry
  • winter
  • forested wetland
  • diurnal
  • distance
  • arkansas
  • anas platyrhynchos
  • louisiana
  • hunting seasons
Date of Defense 2007-09-28
Availability unrestricted
Mallard (Anas platyrhynhcos) populations in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (LMAV) historically averaged 1.6 million and represented the largest concentrations of wintering mallards in North America. Effective management of this wintering population requires current information on use of habitats, movements, and survival of female mallards. I used radio-telemetry techniques to assess these parameters during winters 2004-2005 and 2005-2006. Radio-marked female mallards used forested wetland habitats extensively during diurnal and nocturnal sampling periods. Proportional use of habitats varied inconsistently among time periods defined by hunting seasons and winters. Proportional use of forested wetlands ranged from 0.464 to 0.816 and from 0.280 to 0.764 during diurnal and nocturnal sampling periods, respectively. Movement distances ( SE) between diurnal and nocturnal locations averaged 2524 150.1 meters and varied inconsistently by date among habitat types. The product-limit survival rate of radio-marked female mallards was 0.542 for the 140 day tracking season. Interval survival rates varied among time periods defined by hunting seasons and ranged from 0.721 to 0.981. Cause-specific mortality rates ( SE) for the tracking period were 0.177 0.041 and 0.342 0.119 for hunting and non-hunting sources of mortality, respectively. Continued restoration and establishment of forested wetland habitats should benefit wintering mallards in the LMAV. Finally, waterfowl managers may want to consider management actions to improve survival of female mallards in the LMAV.
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