Breeding-season survival of male and female mallards in Canada's Prairie-Parklands

Michael G. Brasher, Todd W. Arnold, James H. Devries, Richard M. Kawinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Despite greater harvest rates of males, mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) populations exhibit male-biased sex ratios, presumably because females experience greater mortality during breeding seasons than do males. Nest success and adult female survival during the breeding season greatly impact mallard population growth; however, no study has evaluated breeding-season survival of males and females simultaneously using radiotelemetry. We captured, radiomarked, and monitored 90 male and 272 female mallards during 2 breeding seasons in the Prairie-Parkland region of Canada (Manitoba 1998, Saskatchewan 1999), Model-averaged estimates of female breeding season (i.e., 15 Apr-14 Jul) survival probabilities were 0.84 (SE=0.031) in 1998 and 0.71 (SE=0.040) in 1999. Estimated survival probabilities of paired males were 0.99 (SE=0.016) in 1998 and 0.98 (SE=0.025) in 1999; survival estimates for unpaired males were 0.92 (SE=0.052) in 1998 and 0.85 (SE=0.083) in 1999. Female mortality was greatest during periods of intensive nesting, whereas limited male mortalities precluded identification of attributes linked to mortality. Our results suggest that breeding-season survival of males has little impact on mallard population growth, and that management efforts to increase female survival rates offer greater potential to enhance mallard production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-811
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


  • Anas platyrhynchos
  • Breeding season
  • Mallard
  • Manitoba
  • Pair status
  • Saskatchewan
  • Survival


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