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Welcome to the technical sessions schedule for the 2015 SEAFWA Annual Meeting.

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Monday, November 2 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Analysis of Alabama Wood Duck Banding and Recovery Records, 1970-2012

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Gary R. Hepp, Alyson Webber –Auburn University; Jud Easterwood, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

The wood duck (Aix sponsa) is the most common breeding duck in Alabama and is especially important to duck hunters in the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways. Approximately 1.5 million wood ducks are harvested annually in the U.S. Banding is a critical component of waterfowl management, because banding data provide information on annual survival and harvest rates as well as the distribution of the harvest. Pre-season (July-September) banding data are especially important for monitoring wood duck populations, because other approaches for population monitoring often are not used. In this study, we conducted analyses of pre-season bandings of wood ducks in Alabama from 1970 to 2012. During this period of time, 35,000 wood ducks were banded and 2,900 were recovered and reported to the Bird Banding Lab. We plotted the direct and indirect band recovery distributions by age and sex of wood ducks banded in Alabama and estimated the distances traveled between banding and recovery locations. Next, we used Brownie models in Program MARK to estimate band recovery (f) and annual survival (S) rates and developed a number of a priori models to examine effects of age, sex, and time on survival and recovery rates. We selected the best approximating model using QAICc values that were adjusted for both small sample size and over dispersion (c-hat). Finally, we calculated wood duck harvest rates and compared differences in harvest rates between years with two and three bird bag limits.

Monday November 2, 2015 2:00pm - 2:20pm EST
Ballroom Salon B