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CONFERENCE SCHEDULE UPDATES & CHANGES: As a result of the prolonged government shutdown, we experienced a number of cancellations and changes to the schedule. Cancellations and changes are listed here (as of January 26, 2019). 
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Tuesday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
(P35) Ecology of Box-nesting Waterfowl in Central WI: Biological versus Societal Benefits

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AUTHORS. Elianne Heilhecker, Marissa Kaminski, Dr. Jacob Straub, Dr. Matt Palumbo, Leah Bell, Sean Mason – University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

ABSTRACT. Cavity nesting birds like Aix sponsa (Wood ducks) and Lophodytes cucullatus (Hooded merganser) relied historically on natural tree cavities but today some populations have the option to use nest boxes for their eggs. At the Mead Wildlife Area in central Wisconsin, cavity nesting waterfowl have the option to use tree cavities or nest boxes. Currently, most data suggests sufficient natural tree cavities are available for cavity nesting birds, yet duck boxes still remain a factor at many wildlife management areas. While nest box use by these species has varied over time, recently managers have inquired which, if any, factors predict if a nest box will be successful.  Managers should also consider the potential societal benefits (e.g., public engagement, educational opportunities, etc.) box programs could have.  Beginning in 2002 data has been collected by the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Wildlife Society by checking 78-129 boxes annually in January and February. Other studies in our study site have demonstrated low box use rates (<15%) by waterfowl. Our aim is to evaluate biological (i.e., nest success, use, etc.) and societal value of a box-program in Central Wisconsin and make management recommendations accordingly. Our biological evaluation will assist field biologists by evaluating if five independent predictor variables have any significant effect on our response variables. To determine this, competing model sets will be evaluated with a single or combinations of the following variables: species, year, use from previous year, location, and age of box.

Tuesday January 29, 2019 6:00pm - 9:00pm EST
  Poster, Ecology

Attendees (5)