Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, J. Brian

Committee Member

Kaminski, Richard M.

Committee Member

Burger, L. Wes

Committee Member

Afton, Alan D.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


The Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) is an important region for wintering mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) in North America, yet little is known about their spatiotemporal habitat use and related survival in Mississippi. I tracked 126 radio-marked female mallards to quantify survival, habitat use, and use of wildlife management areas (WMAs) with experimental hunt regimes in the south MAV of Mississippi during winters 2010-2012. Daily survival was greatest in agricultural (0.997) and moist-soil (0.999) habitats in winters 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, respectively. Overall interval survival across both winters was 0.60 (SE = 0.02). Forested (40-54%) and moist-soil wetlands (41-59%) received greatest use diurnally and nocturnally, respectively. Mallards used WMAs similarly (P > 0.22) whether they were hunted 2- or 4-days/week. My data suggest that complexes of flooded cropland, forest, and moist-soil habitats are suitable habitats for mallards in the MAV, WMAs can be hunted 4-days/week, and sanctuaries should be revised at two WMAs.



Anas platyrhynchos||hunt management||disturbance||habitat complex||sanctuary