Alan D. Afton

Mallard Use of a Managed Public Hunting Area in Mississippi

SEAFWA Journal Volume 2, March 2015

Managers of public lands affording waterfowl hunting strive to provide quality hunting opportunities while supporting biological needs of birds during winter. Understanding responses by mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) to diurnal hunting activities would help shape hunt regimes that satisfy management goals. We examined use of a wildlife management area (WMA) in western Mississippi by 28 radio-marked female mallards when waterfowl hunting season was closed and during the season when none, half, or all of the WMA was hunted during two winters 2010-2012. The proportion of each day that mallards...


Blood Lead Concentrations and Ingested Shot in Ring-necked Ducks at Catahoula Lake, Louisiana

We analyzed blood lead concentrations and prevalences of ingested lead and steel shot in 93 ring-necked ducks (Aythya collaris) at Catahoula Lake, Louisiana. Blood lead concentrations were higher for immatures than for adults, but did not differ between sexes or between randomly collected and hunter-shot birds. Blood lead concentrations were elevated (≥ 0.20 ppm) in 18 of 31 immatures (58%) and 13 of 61 adults (21%), and were toxic (≥ 0.50 ppm) in 11 immatures (35%) and 5 adults (8%). Prevalences of ingested lead shot were higher for immatures (7 of 32 birds, 22%) than for adults (3 of 61...


Canvasback Food Density in the Mississippi River Delta, Louisiana: Habitat and Temporal Differences

Wildlife managers have been creating deltaic splays in the Mississippi River Delta to promote marsh regeneration, but little is known of the quality of splays as waterfowl foraging habitat. Consequently, we compared densities of important canvasback (Aythya valisineria) foods in splays and open-water ponds during winter 1990- 91. Biomass (g/m2) of grassy arrowhead (Sagittaria graminea) tubers differed between splay mudflats and ponds, but the difference was not consistent between months. In November 1990, splay mudflats (mean ± SE = 123.7 ± 2.9) supported a greater biomass of tubers than...


Nutrient Reserves of Lesser Scaup in Mid-winter in Southwestern Louisiana

We examined the influence of age and sex on body composition and organs of lesser scaup (Aythya ajfinis) during mid-winter in southwestern Louisiana. Except for intestine weight, organs and body components were similar in size between adult and immature lesser scaup. Body components and organs of males generally were larger than those of females. Body weights of lesser scaup in our study were lower than those reported from the same area more than 20 years ago. Declines in condition could result in lowered survival or reproductive performance. Information on winter survival is not available...