Monitoring Texas Wood Ducks With a Cooperative Nest-Box Program



ABSTRACT  We analyzed 8 years of data from the Texas Cooperative Nest Box Program initiated in 1988 by Texas Parks and Wildlife, USA, as a means of involving private cooperators in statewide wood duck (Aix sponsa) management. Cooperators operated ≤9 boxes and most reported nest-box data for only 1 year (56.5%) and 2 years (20.6%) over the 8-year life of the project. Mean nest-box use differed among ecological regions of the state (F=4.23, df=6, P= 0.001) but did not exceed 30% in any region. Mean nest-box success ranged between 74–91% across ecological regions during 1988–1995, but annual estimates of nest-box success lacked precision (CVs >30%) in most years for all regions. Our project was unsuccessful as a management tool for monitoring wood duck demographics. Future efforts should focus on improving the amount and quality of data collected from box-nesting wood ducks.