Today, many stands of both DNC and Natives exist and biologist sought to monitor the effectiveness of both cover types with one simple question; is Native vegetation better, worse or about equal to DNC with respect to waterfowl productivity. Four basic objectives for this study were created;
- Evaluate and compare nest density and nest success of waterfowl in fields of DNC and Native restoration habitat types where nest density is better than 1 nest per 5 acres of habitat, and nest success is greater than 15%.
- Assess landscape variables that may impact waterfowl use of restored sites to assist DLWMD staff in prioritizing sites for restoration, and to provide habitat managers with structural “objectives” beneficial to nesting ducks.
- Assess the vegetative components of each study field by collecting vegetative structure data at both waterfowl nests and at random locations for the purpose of detecting patterns of waterfowl nest site selection if they exist.
- Monitor all species of nesting waterfowl separately and track the nesting phenology of each species throughout the nesting season to determine if early, middle or late nesting ducks have advantages or disadvantages related to nest success, and changes in vegetative structure throughout the breeding season.