Factors affecting brood rearing by ducks on small wetlands in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia
LE3 .A278 2014
Bachelor of Science
For decades government and non-government organizations (NGOs) have prioritized the creation and restoration/enhancement of wetlands. Wetlands have been disappearing at alarming rates around the world and by as much as 75% in urban areas of Canada since European settlement. Wetlands are important land features that mitigate effects of flooding, purify water, replenish groundwater, and they are rich in biodiversity. The Nova Scotia Eastern Habitat Joint Venture (NS-EHJV) is a partnership made up of government and NGOs whose primary focus is wetland conservation under the mandate of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). The NS-EHJV Implementation Plan (2007-2012) established several general assumptions and guiding principles to help focus wetland conservation programs in Nova Scotia to maximize benefits to priority waterfowl species. A study to investigate the use by waterfowl of existing wetlands in the Annapolis Valley was initiated in 2009 to further understand the relationship between waterfowl use and wetland conservation in the Maritime mixed agricultural landscape. Waterfowl breeding pair and brood surveys were conducted to investigate waterfowl use and intensity among 60 agricultural wetlands. Adjacent land use was studied to determine possible relationships between waterfowl use and various land uses. The results from this study indicate that the number of waterfowl breeding pairs and broods detected were similar in the 2012 and 2013 field seasons. Adjacent land use types, such as rivers and vegetated riparian zones, positively influenced brood production. Breeding hens may prefer wetlands with nearby water bodies, which could serve as corridors for duckling
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