Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for

 

Date of this Version

April 1987

Abstract

Bullsnake (Pituophis melanoleucus) predation on upland nesting ducks was monitored on Valentine National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) from 1982-86. The fate of 1,999 duck nests of 9 species was observed under different treatments of land use and control of potential nest predators. Maximum potential levels of bullsnake depredation are masked by nest destruction by mammalian species; bullsnake nest depredation rates were >65% where mammalian predators were controlled, >40% without predator control and <4.0% where both mammalian and reptilian predators were controlled and/or excluded. Duck nest densities were dramatically increased where predator control was accomplished in undisturbed nesting cover.