US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Krementz DG, Asante K, Naylor LW. 2012. Autumn migration of Mississippi Flyway mallards as determined by satellite telemetry. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 3(2):238–251; e1944-687X. doi: 10.3996/022012- JFWM-019


We used satellite telemetry to study autumn migration timing, routes, stopover duration, and final destinations of mallards Anas platyrhynchos captured the previous spring in Arkansas from 2004 to 2007. Of those mallards that still had functioning transmitters on September 15 (n = 55), the average date when autumn migration began was October 23 (SE = 2.62 d; range = September 17–December 7). For those mallards that stopped for .1 d during migration, the average stopover length was 15.4 d (SE = 1.47 d). Ten mallards migrated nonstop to wintering sites. The eastern Dakotas were a heavily utilized stopover area. The total distance migrated per mallard averaged 1,407 km (SE = 89.55 km; range = 142–2,947 km). The average time spent on migration per individual between September 15 and December 15 was 27 d (SE = 2.88 d; range = 2–84 d). The state where most mallards were located on December 15 was Missouri (11) followed by Arkansas (8), while 5 mallards were still in Canada, and only 8 of 43 females and 0 of 10 males were present in Arkansas. The eastern Dakotas are a heavily utilized migration stopover for midcontinent mallards that may require more attention for migration habitat management. The reasons for so few mallards, especially male mallards, returning to Arkansas the following year deserves further research.