http://msbusiness.com/blog/2013/05/14/woods-msus-waterfowl-research-revealing/?#038;#038;

Thus far his research has indicated an overall mallard winter survival rate of 76 percent. The highest survival rates came on habitats that consist of seasonally-flooded wetlands, or commonly called moist soil wetlands. Examples of these habitats are shallow flooded wetlands that when drained in the spring and summer will grow up with annual grasses and weeds such as millets and panic grasses. Thus, providing feed for migrating and wintering waterfowl in winter. Other habitats where mallards survived well were agricultural farmlands, forest habitats, and flooded bottomland hardwood forests. Mallards survived least in permanent water habitats.

Curiously enough, hunting impacted mallard survival but not as much as they anticipated. According to Lancaster, “We saw a higher percentage of non-hunting mortalities than hunting mortalities.” It may seem elementary, but this factor seems to indicate that ducks are far more vulnerable to dying from more natural causes than by being shot by duck hunters. Of course, we need high duck survival rates to encourage more hunters to duck hunt thereby spending increased tourism dollars.
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