Predator management is the most cost-effective waterfowl management tool available to increase annual duck production. With waterfowl populations facing an uncertain future, predator management is a tool that can significantly boost duck production today. You can be a part of increasing duck production by donating to Delta's Duck Production Programs. The Prairie Pothole Region of the US and Canada drives North American fall flights. Human activity has altered every ecosystem on earth and the PPR—the breeding grounds for up to 70 percent of the continents’ waterfowl—is no exception. In the last 5 years alone, more than 2 million acres of grasslands in North Dakota and South Dakota have been lost.
The distribution and abundance of predators has changed too. Medium-sized predators, including badgers, raccoons, red foxes, and striped skunks, are now common throughout the prairie breeding grounds and regularly find and destroy duck nests. As a result of grassland loss and increased predator populations, duck production is below what’s necessary to maintain annual populations in many areas of the PPR. Delta Waterfowl is currently operating and evaluating predator management sites in highly-targeted areas of the breeding areas. By removing predators, Delta Waterfowl trappers are routinely able to double the percentage of nests that successfully hatch on managed sites. Predator management has also been found to increase the survival of ducklings, another critical component of duck production. Increased hatch rates and duckling survival ultimately mean bigger fall flights. If you would like to see bigger fall flights in your area, please support Delta’s predator management efforts!