Improving Wood Duck Survival Estimates in the Mid-Atlantic Region by Using Nest Box Banding Programs

Previous work by LeMaster and Trost (1994) and Otis (1994) developed and evaluated statistical models for incorporating wood ducks (Aix sponsa) banded between 15 April and 30 June into band recovery analyses to estimate survival and recovery rates. In this study, we analyzed wood duck band recovery data from 1982-1992 in the proposed mid-Atlantic wood duck management unit and evaluated the impact of past early season banding on precision of the estimates. Based on statistics compiled from the wood duck nest box program in South Carolina, we then used computer simulation to evaluate potential impact of state and regional scale banding of adult females in nest box programs. Additional early season banding in the mid-Atlantic region could slightly improve estimates of annual and summer survival rates for adults, but replacement of preseason banding with early season banding to achieve banding quotas can result in substantial decreases in precision of some parameters.

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