• Nesting ecology of ducks in interior Alaska

      Petrula, Michael J. (1994-09)
      This study represents one of the first intensive efforts to locate and monitor duck nests in interior Alaska. We located 263, 409 and 450 nests of 12 duck species on Minto Flats in 1989, 1990 and 1991,respectively. We conclude that habitat for breeding waterfowl cannot be considered stable in interior Alaska. Flooding reduced the availability of meadows which precluded ducks from nesting in high-water years despite their presence during the Breeding Pair Survey. Differences in the length of the breeding season and differential response to photoperiod between sub-Arctic and prairie nesting ducks suggest the potential for genetic differences between populations. Similar clutch sizes between high and mid-latitudes, however, suggest that ducks are able to compensate for the additional energetic costs associated with breeding at high latitudes. Flooding of meadow habitat and low nest success resulting from predation probably limit overall duck production on Minto Flats.