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Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Wildlife and Fisheries Science

First Advisor

Lester D. Flake


The Small Unit Management Program or SUMP was created to provide areas of high quality, predator reduced nesting habitats. These areas often produce high numbers of hatched ducklings, however, the eventual fate of these ducklings is often poorly understood. The objectives of our study were: to determine movements of mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) broods from nest site to brood rearing wetlands, and thereafter; to determine survival of broods hatched from SUMP areas; to determine general habitat characteristics of brood rearing wetlands. Three types of SUMP areas were used as study sites including: a natural island, a peninsula cutoff, and an electric fenced peninsula. We captured a total of 62 mallard hens at their nests. Forty-six hens successfully hatched their clutch, 6 nests were destroyed, and 10 abandoned. Brood and duckling survival were estimated to both 49 and 28 days. Fifteen broods (0.33) had at least 1 duckling surviving to 49 days. Nineteen broods (0.41) had at least one duckling surviving to 28 days. Duckling survival for the span 1-28 days was 0.218 and the 95% confidence intervals were 0.181-0.263. For the span 1- 49 days, duckling survival was 0.176 and the 95% confidence intervals were 0.143-0.218. No pattern of survival was found for early versus late hatched (before 14 June and on or after 14 June respectively) broods. Within age classes, there was no difference in brood size between marked and unmarked broods. Radio-marked hens with broods made 1-7 movements during brood rearing and movement distances ranged from 0.30-7.28 km. Hens with broods used wetland linkages and streams as avenues of travel. Broods used 1-4 different wetlands during brood rearing and used seasonal and semipermanent wetlands from 0.4-208.9 ha in size with 3.1- 100% coverage of emergent vegetation. Duckling survival was higher (0.33) for broods using wetlands with interspersions or a wide peripheral fringe of emergent vegetation versus those using wetlands with a narrow fringe or low percent coverage of emergent vegetation (0.08).

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Mallard -- Nests -- South Dakota
Mallard -- Habitat -- South Dakota
Mallard -- Mortality -- South Dakota


Includes bibliographical references (pages 58-62)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


Copyright 1992 Peter J. Bergmann. All rights reserved.