Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Blasting ponds in marshes has variable effects on birds

Published source details

Provost M.W. (1948) Marsh-blasting as a wildlife management technique. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 12, 350-387


The creation of ponds in wetlands is often used as a way of increasing the proportion of open water and therefore creating a balance of habitats, which will benefit the maximum number of species. This study investigates the use of newly created ponds by wildfowl and other birds.



In the autumns of 1940 and 1941, a total of 21 ponds and clearing were blasted in a 93 ha marsh in Iowa, USA. The use of the ponds by wildfowl and other birds was monitored until 1942.



Large numbers of dabbling ducks Anas spp. used the pools and clearings created. Diving ducks Aythya spp. and ruddy ducks Oxyura jamaicensis, however, were rare in the newly-created pools as were American coot Fulica americana, rails Rallus spp. and sora Porzana carolina, instead being found in older ponds and clearings. Songbirds seemed largely unaffected by the blasting.

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