Summer Use Of Two Central Florida Phosphate Settling Ponds By Florida Ducks

Night-light capture rates for flightless juvenile and adult Florida ducks (Anas fulvigula fulvigula) were used to assess the possible significance of phosphatic clay settling areas as post breeding habitat. Capture rate was significantly below (P < 0.05) that documented for brackish water areas on the Merritt Island NWR, but was similar (P > 0.05) to the capture rate for brackish water habitat on Florida's Gulf Coast and fresh water habitat in Southeast and Central Florida. Analysis of the esophageal contents of ten actively feeding specimens collected during the study suggest the ample availability of invertebrate food items believed essential in the satisfaction of protein requirements of laying hens and ducklings. Other aspects of nesting and post nesting ecology and management implications are discussed.

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