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Predator Control to Increase Waterfowl Productivity Prepared By: Daniel S. Barrett.

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Presentation on theme: "Predator Control to Increase Waterfowl Productivity Prepared By: Daniel S. Barrett."— Presentation transcript:

1 Predator Control to Increase Waterfowl Productivity Prepared By: Daniel S. Barrett

2 What Animals are Predators to Waterfowl?

3 Predators of Nesting Waterfowl Continued:

4 What About Coyotes? Man has tried to control coyote populations for the last century. This has affected the ecology of the prairie pothole region. Man has tried to control coyote populations for the last century. This has affected the ecology of the prairie pothole region. The reduction in coyotes have led to higher red fox populations which affects waterfowl production. The reduction in coyotes have led to higher red fox populations which affects waterfowl production.

5 Can Coyotes be Good? Managing canid populations to favor coyotes and reduce red fox populations, have potential to positively affect nest success over large areas of landscape according to a USGS study. Managing canid populations to favor coyotes and reduce red fox populations, have potential to positively affect nest success over large areas of landscape according to a USGS study. Coyotes also may suppress raccoon densities. Coyotes also may suppress raccoon densities. Coyotes? A good management tool? Coyotes? A good management tool?

6 What is Predator Control? Predator control is the removal or confinement of predators by either lethal or non-lethal means. The removal or control of predators can be carried out by many different techniques

7 How does predator control work? Predator control falls into 2 groups: Lethal and Non-lethal predator control. Predator control falls into 2 groups: Lethal and Non-lethal predator control. Lethal methods seem to be the most cost efficient and successful forms of predator control. Lethal methods seem to be the most cost efficient and successful forms of predator control. Non-lethal methods can work but are more time and labor intensive. They don’t seem to be quite as effective as lethal methods. Non-lethal methods can work but are more time and labor intensive. They don’t seem to be quite as effective as lethal methods.

8 Lethal Methods Toxicants Toxicants Traps Traps Shooting Shooting

9 Non-Lethal Methods Relocation Relocation Barrier Fencing Barrier Fencing Supplemental Feeding Supplemental Feeding Taste Aversion Taste Aversion Anti-fertility Drugs Anti-fertility Drugs

10 Where does the majority of predator control for increased waterfowl production take place? Predator control typically takes place in the prairie pothole region in the northern mid- western U.S. and southern Canada. Predator control typically takes place in the prairie pothole region in the northern mid- western U.S. and southern Canada.

11 Why? The prairie pothole region is considered to be the nation’s duck factory. The prairie pothole region is considered to be the nation’s duck factory. More than 50% of North American Waterfowl depend on the potholes for feeding and breeding grounds. More than 50% of North American Waterfowl depend on the potholes for feeding and breeding grounds. In recent years waterfowl numbers have been on the downfall. Due to habitat loss and fragmentation, agriculture and increased predation. In recent years waterfowl numbers have been on the downfall. Due to habitat loss and fragmentation, agriculture and increased predation. Predator control was a way to increase duck production in this dwindling habitat. Predator control was a way to increase duck production in this dwindling habitat.

12 Nesting Ducks of the Prairies

13 Predator Removal Studies One study conducted in South Dakota for a 6 year period focused on predator removal. One study conducted in South Dakota for a 6 year period focused on predator removal. Over that period of time, nest success reached 94% with the removal of predators. Over that period of time, nest success reached 94% with the removal of predators.

14 Predator Removal Studies A study completed on a 36 square mile tract in North Dakota yielded some significant results. A study completed on a 36 square mile tract in North Dakota yielded some significant results. Predators were removed by trapping. Predators were removed by trapping. In 2000, nest success was 66% while in a control area it was 16%. In 2000, nest success was 66% while in a control area it was 16%. In 2001, nest success was 73% while in a control are it was 27%. In 2001, nest success was 73% while in a control are it was 27%.

15 Removal of Predators Works! Studies show that reduction of predator numbers leads to an increase in waterfowl production. Numbers don’t lie. Studies show that reduction of predator numbers leads to an increase in waterfowl production. Numbers don’t lie.

16 Removal works! What’s the Problem? Removal of predators from the ecosystem causes serious controversy from many different user groups. Removal of predators from the ecosystem causes serious controversy from many different user groups. It is time and labor intensive. It is time and labor intensive. Must be done every year. Must be done every year. Quick fix mentality. Quick fix mentality.

17 What about Non-Removal Methods of Predator Control? Electric fence barriers have been effective at excluding predators from waterfowl nest sites. Electric fence barriers have been effective at excluding predators from waterfowl nest sites. Construction of islands. Construction of islands. Peninsula cut-offs to make islands. Peninsula cut-offs to make islands. All these methods help in predator exclusion and in turn produce an increase in production. All these methods help in predator exclusion and in turn produce an increase in production.

18 Wetland Islands and their Construction

19 What’s the Problem? Construction of Islands, and installing of barriers such as an electric fence can be extremely expensive as well as time and labor intensive. Construction of Islands, and installing of barriers such as an electric fence can be extremely expensive as well as time and labor intensive.

20 What’s the Answer to More Waterfowl? Habitat Habitat Predator control is an effective management tool in certain situations to increase nest success. Predator control is an effective management tool in certain situations to increase nest success. Habitat acquisition and provision needs to be the main goal in waterfowl management. Habitat acquisition and provision needs to be the main goal in waterfowl management.

21 Habitat Loss has posed predator problems. This graph shows the loss of grassland from the 1860s to This graph shows the loss of grassland from the 1860s to 1980.

22 Habitat Use vs. Availability

23 What’s the answer for more ducks? For an increase in waterfowl numbers an array of management practices need to be implemented, including predator control. For an increase in waterfowl numbers an array of management practices need to be implemented, including predator control. Keep in mind that the only way to really boost waterfowl numbers long term is to provide and preserve more quality nesting habitat. Keep in mind that the only way to really boost waterfowl numbers long term is to provide and preserve more quality nesting habitat. Even with the absence of predators only so much nesting habitat is available. Even with the absence of predators only so much nesting habitat is available. Waterfowl can’t nest successfully on concrete! Waterfowl can’t nest successfully on concrete!

24 More Ducks! Sound, adaptable management decisions will result in an increase of waterfowl.


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