Forthcoming

Factors affecting apparent survival and resighting probability of wintering mallards Anas platyrhynchos

A case study from a small town in north-eastern Poland

Authors

  • Brygida Manikowska-Ślepowrońska Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology, University of Gdańsk https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7575-717X
  • Włodzimierz Meissner Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology, University of Gdańsk

Keywords:

city park, CJS mark-recapture models, ringing recovery, urban area, winter harshness

Abstract

Survival of adults is a key demographic parameter affecting avian population dynamics. In urban areas, e.g., city parks, birds stay in winter in large numbers where they have access to a multitude of food sources due to human activities, which is one of the key factors that attract birds into the cities. Our study estimates apparent survival of mallard ducks Anas platyrhynchos between non-breeding seasons in a small town in the coldest region in north-eastern Poland between 2005 and 2017. We found lower survival estimates for females (juveniles: 0.54; adults: 0.59) than males (juveniles: 0.76; adults: 0.72) and probabilities of resighting individuals in the next non-breeding season were higher if the bird was resighted in the study area during the prior breeding period. Thus, we conclude that sedentary mallards from the local urban population have relatively high survival, which may be explained by lower pressure from raptors, lack of hunting and higher winter temperatures in the urban site. Additionally, winter temperature was negatively related to resighting probability in the next non-breeding season. Resighting probability was time-dependent with a bimodal pattern with maximal estimates of 0.48 in 2007/2008 and 0.98 in 2013/2014, 0.98 in 2014/2015, 1.00 in 2015/2016. These results are most likely related to volunteers’ activity that increased due to organized official competition with special awards during those seasons. Considering the fact that the type of ring (metal or plastic coloured) significantly influenced the probabilities of resighting of individuals, it is recommended that apparent survival studies on birds be conducted using colour rings. Moreover, we encourage to collect more capture-mark-recapture data to enable accurate estimations of duck survival, which not the least is a prerequisite for successful management and conservation efforts.

Section
Research articles

Published

2022-09-22

How to Cite

Manikowska-Ślepowrońska, B., & Meissner, W. (2022). Factors affecting apparent survival and resighting probability of wintering mallards Anas platyrhynchos: A case study from a small town in north-eastern Poland. Ornis Fennica, 00–00. https://doi.org/10.51812/of.121697