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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Relocating wild broods of wood ducks Aix sponsa by wing-clipping hens helps to establish breeding population in new areas

Published source details

Capen D.E., Crenshaw W.J. & Coulter M.W. (1974) Establishing breeding populations of wood ducks by relocating wild broods. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 38, 253-256

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Translocate wildfowl Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled study from 1970-1973 that used three different translocation methods to translocate wild wood duck Aix sponsa broods into 32 marsh areas (previously uninhabited by wood ducks) in Maine, USA (Capen et al. 1974) found that wing-clipping females was successful in preventing duckling abandonment. Two of five females moved in their original boxes successfully cared for their young, the other three abandoned them, as did females from two natural nests that were moved. In the final 25 attempts, the females were wing-clipped and moved with their broods in a release box. Twenty-two of the 25 trials were successful. A release was successful if any duckling from a brood survived to flying age. About 87 female ducklings were transplanted to new areas, of which eight were known to return to nest in the release areas.  The most effective technique for releasing the females and ducklings together was a box with a hinged bottom suspended 15-20 cm above the water.