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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Dabbling ducks choose to nest in unmown roadside verges in North Dakota, but nesting success is not necessarily higher compared to mown verges

Published source details

Voorhees L.D. & Cassel J.F. (1980) Highway right-of-way: mowing versus succession as related to duck nesting. Journal of Wildlife Management, 44, 155-163

This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Mowing roadside verges Bird Conservation

A replicated, controlled trial in 1969-72 in North Dakota, USA (Voorhees & Cassel 1980), found that more ducks nested in unmown than mown road verges (although this difference was not significant in 1972). However, nesting success remained between 40-60% in mowed strips, whereas it fell from >70% to <30% in unmown strips due to an increase in mammalian nest predation. Alternate mowed and unmown 1.6 km strips of roadside vegetation were compared along 37km of Interstate 94. The 23 mowed strips (totalling 123 ha) were mown once in autumn. Six duck species nested over the four years: blue-winged teal Anas discors, mallard A. platyrhynchos, gadwall A. strepera, northern shoveler A. clypeata, pintail A. acuta and lesser scaup Aythya affinis.