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Utilization and Colonization of Artificial Nesting Cylinders by Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) in Northwest Pennsylvania and.

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Presentation on theme: "Utilization and Colonization of Artificial Nesting Cylinders by Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) in Northwest Pennsylvania and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Utilization and Colonization of Artificial Nesting Cylinders by Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) in Northwest Pennsylvania and Southern Ontario Jeremy Stempka: M.Sc. Candidate Dr. Scott Petrie: Supervisor Dr. Robert Bailey: Co Supervisor

2 Partners & Cooperators Partners Pennsylvania Game Commission – NW Region & BWM Flyway Foundation (SC) Long Point Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Fund Delta Waterfowl University of Western Ontario NW Pennsylvania Duck Hunters Association Susquehanna River Waterfowlers Association Cooperators Canadian Wildlife Service Pennsylvania Conservation Corps Western Pennsylvania Chapter Delta Waterfowl DCNR - Presque Isle State Park Private landowners

3 Hen Houses? Nest success rates typically range between 60% and 100%. Increase duckling survival. Increase hen survival. Relatively inexpensive. Photo by Kevin Jacobs

4 Tripod Advantages Very inexpensive (< $10). Easily made and installed. Requires no predator guard. Can be relocated very easily. Disadvantages Placement influenced by water depth and substrate type. Susceptible to ice damage. Strong winds may blown over HH if not firmly installed. Photo by Kevin Jacobs

5 Delta Design Advantages Well built and very sturdy. Easily adaptable for different water and soil depth. Easy to install through ice in the winter. Disadvantages Expense ($50 + labor). Photo by Kevin Jacobs

6 Study Objectives Conduct a regional comparison of hen house occupancy and nest success between Northwest Pennsylvania and Southern Ontario. Determine variables that influence hen house occupancy (wetland type, size, food availability, surrounding habitat, land use, mount) Investigate philopatry of mallard hens and female offspring to nesting structures. Conduct an interspecific comparison of success rates and parameters associated with HHs utilized by mallards and wood ducks (i.e. surrounding habitat, wetland type, wetland productivity).

7 Data Collection Classifying each wetland type and measuring size. Measuring water depth and distance of HH above water. Invertebrate sampling. Banding hen mallards to measure return rates. Web tagging ducklings to investigate offspring philopatry. Using satellite imagery to define surrounding habitat and land use.

8 Hen House Monitoring Hen houses were checked every 20 days for use. Occupied nests checked and candled every 7-10 days to estimate hatch date. Nests checked daily near estimated hatch date. Photo by Kevin Jacobs

9 Capturing Hens Hens captured and banded to detect homing. Hens banded on day 16 of incubation or later to decrease nest abandonment. Captured primarily by sneaking perpendicular to the nest with dip nets. Photo by Scott Petrie

10 Banding Hens In 2006, 18 Hens were banded with standard leg bands in Northwest PA and Southern Ontario. 50% of those hens returned to nest in the same or adjacent hen house. In 2007 an additional 25 hen mallards were banded, 24 ASY, 1 SY Hen immobilized by placing the mallards head under the wing and rocking it back and forth until it is relaxed and then placing the hen back into the HH. No post banding nest abandonment. Photo by Scott Petrie

11 Web Tagging In 2006, 180 mallard ducklings were web tagged to investigate offspring philopatry. No offspring philopatry in 2007 from ducklings tagged in In 2007, an additional 250 mallard ducklings were web tagged. Majority were web tagged in the egg. Photo by Kevin Jacobs

12 Summary Comparison of Hen House Occupancy in Northwest Pennsylvania and Southern Ontario

13 Summary Comparison of Hen House Success Rates in Northwest Pennsylvania and Southern Ontario

14 2008 Plans Winter HH maintenance. Complete 2008 fieldwork March – July. Data analysis and thesis completion target date of December Photo by Kevin Jacobs


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