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Thread: Predator control will improve nesting success of waterfowl.

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    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    Default Predator control will improve nesting success of waterfowl.

    http://www.deltawaterfowl.org/media/...management.php

    Hugh sent this to me, very interesting study on nesting habitat. If we can do something to encourage trapping out on the hayflats, it would increase the bird numbers for shooting in the first half of our season. Hope to get some comments about ideas here. Bud
    Wasilla

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akblackdawg View Post
    If we can do something to encourage trapping out on the hayflats, it would increase the bird numbers for shooting in the first half of our season.
    What evidence to support this statement? Do we have baseline data for the flats? What is the current rate of nest success on the flats?
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    are rifles allowed on the flats?

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    Already a fair number of people running traplines on the flats, and yes im sure it is helping as it would seem the number of muskrats has declined. And to answer the question are rifles allowed yes you can hunt the flats with a rifle just make sure you read the regs before doing so wouldnt want anyone get a ticket for shooting within a 1/4 of the roadway.
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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    I think seagulls play a huge part during the egg phase.

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    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    What evidence to support this statement? Do we have baseline data for the flats? What is the current rate of nest success on the flats?
    Not aware of any specific date for the flats, will send Meehan a email about it and see if he has any information. Bud
    Wasilla

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    Not sure on stats either..but sure they have some as it encompasses their management area. I have trapped and predator called out there in the past and caugt/shot lynx, coyote, fox, obviously rats, and missed a wolf a few years back. Most was pretty close to RS and along the the heavily wooded areas. Would think as spring thaws predators will move out further on the flats were it impacts the brood. Access is pretty easy and seems being a close commute would be a great area for beginners to get involved in trapping or more experienced to play. Maybe next year we can have a trapping seminar and get a bunch of duckhunters running traplines out there

    I contacted ATA today in regards to info, advice or to see if they have participated in anything like the article. Will see what they say..wanted to open some dialogue with them on the subject.
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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Having been a Delta waterfowl member for years I have kept up with their trapping efforts through their journal publication. Predation on nests is a real issue, especially in agricultural areas. In a couple of their published articles over the years they showed a break down of which predators were trapped the most. Skunks are usually at the top of the list, with raccoons next, followed by fox or badgers depending on the habitat. One study found that if there was a nesting area near a wooded edge habitat then nest predation was even higher. They are currently doing a game camera study to document how predators prey on nests.

    Keep in mind that a lot of the Delta predation studies are conducted at times of the year outside traditional fur bearer trapping seasons. We might not have that available up here. If we have only winter trapping for furbearers, and no trapping during nesting season how effective will it be on nest success? Will the predators move from a winter habitat to a summer habitat to take advantage of ducks nests? Are there enough nesting ducks on the Hay flats to cause a change in behavior in predators?

    When it comes to predation on nests in Alaska I do have to ask is it real here? It certainly is real in Canada and the Lower 48, but without skunks, raccoons, and badgers - the main bad opperators of nest predation studies - how big a deal is it in Alaska?

    Here we have coyotes fox, martin, weasels/ermin, and mink to fill the roles of nest predators. Fox are proven nest predators. But what about the others? Mink are a wetland animal, but are they on the Hay Flats? Are they a nest predator? Are weasels large enough to go after eggs? Do they live in wetlands during the nesting season? Martin are a forest dweller, are they on the wetlands during nesting season? Coyotes will eat eggs when available, but do they focus on nests like skunks and raccoons do? I know they go after frogs in the spring and are not concerned about being wet to get food, so if they find a nest they will eat it.

    The Hay Flats get hammered by trappers and callers, which makes for very well educated animals. The primary animals hunted/trapped are coyotes, foxes, and muskrats. Are there enough of them to have an effect on nest success? How many ducks are nesting on the Hay Flats? and how many predators are present on the Hay Flats during nesting season?

    What roll do magpies and gulls play in nest predation? I know as a kid in Nevada we would see magpies out of the nest eariler in the spring than other birds and they would be hitting the nests of other birds.

    There are a lot of Marsh Harriers up here. They may not be egg suckers, but do they go after ducklings? I have watched them many times take small birds from the weeds while I am out sitting in my boat waiting for ducks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akblackdawg View Post
    http://www.deltawaterfowl.org/media/...management.php

    Hugh sent this to me, very interesting study on nesting habitat. If we can do something to encourage trapping out on the hayflats, it would increase the bird numbers for shooting in the first half of our season. Hope to get some comments about ideas here. Bud


    Nothing needs to be done to encourage trapping out there. It's already hit hard.

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    Ravens are the worst that i have seen / witnessed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    I think seagulls play a huge part during the egg phase.
    Yes matt they sure do and probably do the most damage at that time but unfortunately we can't legally shoot them. As for ravens I'm sure they take a good number also.

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    AK Ray

    Nice write up on Deltas trapping work. I got to know a guy though work that worked for Delta on their trapping project and was amazed at how many predators he caught, as well as the increased production.

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    Akblackdawg I have been trapping the hay flats for 3 or so years and have taken 12 otter couple mink fox and coyotes hoping to take care of this same situation I would also like to get a fund raiser for duck nesting baskets set out on the flats if its not already being done hoping to increase the mallard population Just a few ideas Im hoping to get joined up with AWA when I get back and get with some of you guys for making things happen!!!

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    Jerry

    what you mentioned is in the works already. Hit me up at AlaskaDH01@gmail.com for more details.

    Thanks
    Hugh
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    duckhunter01 email sent I didnt put a subject line on it!!

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    Jerry, from what i understand the best thing we can do is to increase or keep from losing the wetlands we have for nesting. that seems to be a big problem. read the post about cottonwood creek and the tidal errosion. Bud
    Wasilla

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    This is one check from last year off of the Palmer hay flats I didn't see any otter sign this year bad for me good for the ducks though! Akblackdawg I checked that thread out I see where you are coming from on water loss. Ill be helping on that when I can but will continue on the predator control as well. I also know of 2 other guys productively trapping on the flats as well. All of which helps I've noticed an increase of ducklings in the area these 3 otters and fox came from coincidence I don't know.
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    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    Jerry, don't get me wrong, I have nothing at all against your trapping those critters out there. The less of them eating the ducks and eggs, the more ducks will survive. I don't recall seeing your name on here other then the past couple weeks, welcome to the waterfowl forum. Bud
    Wasilla

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    Sorry akblackddawg I wasnt trying to inply anything I was just showing what ive taken out of there. And thanks for the Welcome Ive been on here a litte bit here and there I finaly disieded to become a member.

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    jerrl
    NICE WORK !

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