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Banding Together for Waterfowl

The Cover Connection

New DU research has provided more evidence that conserving large blocks of grassland is critical to prairie waterfowl populations
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Although Stephens' graduate research concluded in 2001, he will continue to monitor nest success on many of his study sites over the next five to 10 years while serving as research biologist for the GPRO. DU also will have two full-time technicians sampling rodent populations, and plans are under way to track the movements of predators fitted with radio collars, including foxes, coyotes, and skunks.

Ringelman concludes, "We've learned a lot about how the abundance of upland cover affects waterfowl nest success, but more research will be needed to determine how interactions between predators and alternate prey species impact nesting ducks in different areas. By monitoring these complex natural systems over several years, we'll continue to gain a better understanding of what types of landscapes will produce the most ducks year after year."

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