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Sample Design: Monitoring effectiveness of elevated and floating hen houses in the TD-2 project
  • ID: 16312
  • State: Draft
  • Owner: Chattan McPherson
  • Spatial Design Category: Ease of Access
  • Version History: v1.0 Draft (3/18/2019)
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TD2 project area has 19 isolated wetland basins, totaling 71 surface acres, which have been managed for waterfowl production since they were isolated from Winchester Wasteway and rehabbed during 2006 in an effort to increase brood production. Point count surveys conducted since 2004 suggest that this project area still has low waterfowl productivity. In an effort to boost waterfowl production the Columbia Basin Wildlife Area has installed 19 elevated hen houses and 5 floating hen houses.  Nesting structures for ground nesting waterfowl may be an effective technique for increasing success in regions which nest success is below the 15% threshold needed to maintain a stable population (Zimmerling et al. 2006).  Through this monitoring we plan to evaluate how effective hen houses are and if waterfowl production increases in the project are.  There will be brood surveys conducted to give reference to if amount of broods have improved for previous years.  In 2018 Columbia Basin Wildlife Area put out the same amount of hen houses but only two waterfowl nest were laid in hen houses, one successful and one abandoned.  Artmann et al. (2001) found that occupancy rates tend to be low during the first year or two after nesting structures are erected, but increase thereafter as females that have successfully nested, and their offspring, return to nest in hen houses.  Monitoring nest structures this year and into the future will provide valuable data if waterfowl production is increasing due to hen houses being installed.  Columbia Basin Wildlife Area will monitor nest structure activity and brood production to evaluate the effectiveness of hen houses in the project area.     


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Study Design

Monitoring effectiveness of elevated and floating hen houses in the TD-2 project v1.0





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