Utilization Of Hydrilla By Ducks And Coots In Central Florida

Foods consumed by 115 ducks and coots (Fulica americana) collected from 2 central Florida study sites were analyzed to assess the importance of the exotic pest species hydrilla (Hydril/a verticil/ata) as a food plant. Contents of esophagi or gizzards were identified and measured by volumetric displacement. Hydrilla was the most important identifiable food on both study sites in terms of mean of volumetric percentages (aggregate percentage) and frequency of occurrence. Implications of findings with respect to waterfowl habitat and aquatic weed control are discussed.

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