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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Artificial nest sites for black-bellied whistling duck Dendrocygna autumnalis and potential implications for over harvesting, Las Palomas and Ixpuchapan, Veracruz, Mexico

Published source details

Feekes F. (1991) The black-bellied whistling duck in Mexico-from traditional use to sustainable management? Biological Conservation, 56, 123-131


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Provide artificial nesting sites for wildfowl Bird Conservation

A replicated study over four breeding seasons in 1985-8 at two lakes in Veracruz, Mexico (Feekes 1991), found that black-bellied whistling ducks Dendrocygna autumnalis using nest boxes had very low reproductive success (11.1% success for nine attempts in 1986, 6.6% for 30 attempts in 1987-8), mainly because of predation by opossums Didelphis spp., raccoons Procyon lotor and humans. Occupancy rates varied, with one of 16 pairs using boxes in 1985; 17-30% of 30 pairs in 1986 and 40-75% of 20 pairs in both 1987 and 1988. Nest boxes were made from either liana baskets or hollowed palm trunks, with the latter being the only nests used (except for a single basket in 1985). Thirteen baskets were provided in 1985 and ten in 1986; ten trunks were provided in 1986, 16 in 1987 and 17 in 1988. Boxes were placed in positions similar to naturally occurring nests and checked every two weeks during the breeding seasons. Opossums also frequently occupied nest boxes.