Habitat management for ducks has significant implications for the conservation of other species. We hypothesized that, because of their flagship and umbrella characteristics, upland-nesting ducks might be effective surrogate species for songbird and shorebird conservation in the dry mixed-grass prairie. We tested this by comparing effects of habitat management (cattle grazing deferments and field size), distance to other habitat (water, cropland/forage, roads), and vegetation, on the richness and density of ducks, songbirds, and shorebirds in southern Alberta, Canada. There were no consistently similar responses to these habitat characteristics among ducks, songbirds and shorebirds. Despite their conceptual appeal, ducks are, therefore, unlikely to be good surrogate species for avian conservation in the dry mixed-grass prairie. Habitat managers and conservation planners should empirically validate whether habitat management for ducks positively affects other species, if this is a management objective. Our results suggest that in dry mixed-grass prairie, deferring cattle grazing is likely to increase densities of only lesser scaup but that grazing, in general, can be used by managers to create a heterogeneous habitat that supports many species.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 70 • No. 3