Waterfowl Habitat Use on a Texas Reservoir with Hydrilla

Densities of waterfowl (Anatidae) and American coots (Fulica americana) were compared across habitats to evaluate the relative use and value of reservoir habitats, particularly hydrilla (Hydrilla verticillata) beds. Hydrilla was selected by ducks as a group over all other habitats (P < 0.05) and was the most selected habitat (P < 0.05) for American wigeon (Anas americana), gadwalls (A. strepera), northern shovelers (A. clypeata), canvasbacks (Aythya valisineria), and ring-necked ducks (A. collaris). Five other duck species selected hydrilla as 1 of several (> I) habitats most selected (P < 0.05). In all seasons, American coots selected hydrilla and the hydrillaemergent interface (P < 0.05). Hydrilla was an important habitat component for waterfowl and coots and may improve the value of reservoirs for wintering waterbirds.

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