The field portion of the Ducks Unlimited (DU) and University of North Dakota (UND) 2016 Nestcam project has run its course. New partners, UND interns and technicians helped make this year a success.
The UND interns and DU technicians located more than 250 nests between DU's Coteau Ranch and the Davis Ranch. Technicians placed cameras at 36 percent of the blue-winged teal and mallard nests they encountered thanks to the additional cameras purchased through support from the Enbridge Ecofootprint Grant Program through the Minnesota Association of Resource Conservation and Development. Field training provided by the US Geological Service's Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center gave technicians additional experience in identifying and describing the fate of nests.
Although the field component has wrapped up for the season, the students are still processing the many hours of video recorded by the nest cameras. With help from DU researchers and UND professor Dr. Susan Ellis-Felege, they will analyze these data to answer their own specific scientific questions. The students intend to share their findings at local and national scientific conferences over the next year.
The nest camera footage will also be uploaded to Wildlife@Home, to foster the citizen-science side of this project. DU researchers encourage our supporters to visit Wildlife@Home to follow this project and become involved as citizen scientists through the UND citizen-science program.