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The response of waterfowl populations to marsh management on the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Maine was evaluated. The objectives were (1) to estimate populations of breeding waterfowl in 1974 and 1975 and compare these numbers with trends of the past 30 years and (2) to interpret these trends in relation to vegetative and other environmental changes that have occurred. The long-term trend of black duck numbers on the primary study areas was downward. Fluctuating water levels, advanced plant succession and a decrease in the number of open-water areas were factors contributing to the decline. Breeding populations of ring-necked ducks generally increased in sedge wetland because of the preference of that species to nest in floating sedge-bog mat which became more available to the birds due to changes in water levels. By contrast, ring-necked ducks decreased throughout the period in shrub wetland because of the adverse effects of plant succession.
Life Sciences and Agriculture Experiment Station
waterfowl, black ducks, ring-necked ducks
Poultry or Avian Science
Fefer S.I. 1977. Waterfowl populations as related to habitat changes in bog wetlands of the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge. Life Sciences and Agriculture Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 86.