Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Davis, J. Brian

Committee Member

Wiggers, Ernie P.

Committee Member

Kaminski, Richard M.

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


Mottled ducks (Anas fulvigula) are a non-migratory waterfowl species endemic to the western Gulf Coast, with a separate, genetically distinct subspecies (A. fulvigula fulvigula) occurring in peninsular Florida. Birds from Texas, Louisiana, and Florida were released in coastal South Carolina from 1975-1983, and banding data suggest an expanding population. I monitored 72 mottled duck nests and captured and radio-marked 196 pre-breeding and nesting females between 2010 and 2014 to study breeding ecology of these birds in the Ashepoo, Combahee, Edisto Rivers Basin. Nest success averaged 12% and varied with vegetation height and year. Indicated breeding pair surveys revealed breeding mottled ducks select managed wetland impoundments, predominately influenced by water depth. Future research should investigate ecology of nest predators of mottled ducks to devise successful habitat management strategies for breeding birds. Preliminary evidence suggests that managed wetland impoundments are important to breeding and brood rearing mottled ducks in coastal South Carolina.