We studied captive-reared mallards (Anas platyrhynchos; CRMs) released on eastern Long Island, New York, in 2006 to 2007 and 2007 to 2008 to determine: (1) survival rates of CRMs; (2) contribution to hunter harvest; (3) local movements; and (4) pair status, reproductive behavior, and production of CRMs. We banded and released 100 CRMs in November 2006 of which 20 were radio-marked. In November 2007, we banded and released 299 CRMs of which 60 were radio-marked. We used Program MARK to determine weekly survival estimates (0.53 to 1.00) up to 24 weeks after release; cumulative survival from November to May was 0.25. Seventeen percent (n = 17) of CRMs were reported harvested from 2006 to 2007, and 5% (n = 15) were reported harvested during 2007 to 2008. The median distance between harvest locations and release sites in both years was 3 km. CRMs intermingled with free-ranging waterfowl at town parks but tended to stay together in groups of 10 to 30 birds. We observed 22 pairs of CRMs, 2 pairs of CRMs with unmarked mallards, and 1 CRM with a brood. Overall, our data indicated that after some initial losses, many CRMs survived and settled in park settings where waterfowl were commonly fed by humans. Thus, CRMs appeared to contribute to feral waterfowl populations, which are a source of human–wildlife conflicts in many areas. Occurrence of CRMs in such settings also provides a means for disease transmission to free-ranging waterfowl.
Osborne, Carrie E.; Swift, Bryan L.; and Baldassarre, Guy A.
"Fate of Captive-Reared and Released Mallards on Eastern Long Island, New York,"
Human–Wildlife Interactions: Vol. 4
, Article 13.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/hwi/vol4/iss2/13