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Keywords:

  • Anas crecca;
  • Anas rubripes;
  • Eastern Habitat Joint Venture;
  • habitat use;
  • North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP);
  • reproductive index;
  • restoration;
  • small wetlands;
  • waterfowl;
  • wetland dredging

Abstract Since 1990 under the Eastern Habitat Joint Venture over 100 small wetlands have been restored in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Wetlands were restored by means of dredging accumulated sediment from erosion to emulate pre-disturbance conditions (i.e., open water and extended hydroperiod). In 1998 and 1999 we compared waterfowl pair and brood use on 22 restored and 24 reference wetlands. More pairs and broods of Ring-necked Ducks, Gadwall, Green-winged Teal, and American Black Ducks used restored versus reference wetlands. In restored wetlands waterfowl pair density and species richness were positively correlated with wetland/cattail area, percent cattail cover, and close proximity to freshwater rivers. In addition, a waterfowl reproductive index was positively correlated with percent cattail cover. Green-winged Teal pair occurrence in restored wetlands was positively correlated with greater amounts of open water and water depths. American Black Duck pairs occurred on most (86%) restored wetlands. Restored small wetlands likely served as stopover points for American Black Duck broods during overland or stream movements, whereas they likely served as a final brood-rearing destination for Green-winged Teal broods. We suggest that wetland restoration is a good management tool for increasing populations of Green-winged Teal and American Black Ducks in Prince Edward Island.