Stopover duration of mallards during autumn in the Illinois River valley

Heath M. Hagy, Aaron P. Yetter, Kirk W. Stodola, Michelle M. Horath, Christopher S. Hine, Michael P. Ward, Thomas J. Benson, Randolph V. Smith, Joshua D. Stafford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Estimates of time spent at migratory stopovers are often used to develop habitat conservation objectives for a variety of avian species, namely waterfowl. Because of limited previous research and a need for accurate conservation planning objectives, we estimated stopover duration and factors influencing stay of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) in Illinois using radio telemetry during autumns 2009 and 2010. Total stopover duration of migrating mallards was approximately 68 days and was approximately twice that of previous studies which could have significant implications on habitat needs used for conservation planning purposes. Duration of stay post-capture did not vary by sex, body condition, year, or age but was inversely related to capture date. Our results suggest that wetland conservation objectives could increase 16.2% if our contemporary estimates were included in current planning models of the Upper Mississippi River and Great Lakes Region Joint Venture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)747-752
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Wildlife Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2014


  • Anas platyrhynchos
  • Illinois River valley
  • conservation
  • dabbling duck
  • joint venture
  • mallard
  • mark-recapture
  • migration
  • stopover duration
  • waterfowl

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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