Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Evaluation of a Plasticine-Filled Leg Band for Day-Old Ducklings

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1999
Authors:Blums, P, J. Davis, B, STEPHENS, SCOTTE, Mednis, A, Richardson, DM
Journal:The Journal of Wildlife Management
Date Published:1999
ISBN Number:0022541X
Keywords:Aix, Aix sponsa, Anatidae, Fulica, Fulica atra, Rallidae
Abstract:We evaluated plasticine-filled leg bands via recapture and band recovery information from 7,172 day-old wood ducks (Aix sponsa) double-marked (plasticine band and a web tag) in Kentucky, Mississippi, and Missouri in 1993-98. These bands performed relatively well, with highest retention rates achieved in Missouri 1997-98 (98.6%) and Mississippi 1996-97 (97.3%). As part of an international project, we also conducted a study to test the null hypothesis of no difference in survival rates between 2 cohorts of ducklings marked with (1) plasticine-filled bands, and (2) web tags. Data from 2,745 double-marked, newly hatched ducklings of 6 species and 117 subsequent recaptures or recoveries in the United States and Latvia were used in 4 different tests; none provided any evidence (P ≥ 0.11) that ducklings marked with plasticine-filled leg bands exhibited greater mortality than those with web tags. We encourage extending use of this technique to other species of ducks, mergansers, and coots, because these leg bands have high retention rates, are easily detected by hunters, and permit additional inferences about posthatch movements, natal dispersal, neonate survival, and true recruitment. The banding technique may be applicable in studies of most precocial bird species if a universal filling material is developed.
Short Title:The Journal of Wildlife Management
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith