HIGHWAY RIGHT-OF-WAY: MOWING VERSUS SUCCESSION AS RELATED TO WATERFOWL NESTING IN NORTH DAKOTA

Waterfowl nesting was compared on blocks of land typifying early and later successional cover. Alternate 1.6-km (1-mile) blocks along a 37-km (23-mile) section of Interstate 94 right-of-way in Stutsman County, North Dakota were maintained in an early successional stage by annual fall mowing; the remaining 1.6-km (1-mile) blocks, representing later successional stages, were left unmowed. Initial investigations revealed higher densities of duck nests and higher nest success in unmowed right-of-way areas than in mowed areas. No change was detected in the unmowed nesting preference from 1969 to 1972 as the vegetation aged. Patterns of nest success over the four-year period, however, were significantly different in the mowed and unmowed blocks. Relative to the mowed blocks, nest success in the unmowed blocks continually declined from 1969 to 1972. For highest waterfowl production in the duck-producing regions along I-94, the vegetation should be kept in the earlier stages of ecological succession. To accomplish this, it is recommended that the Highway Department set up a rotational mowing policy at 3-year intervals; i.e., one-third of the area should be totally mowed each year. Mowing, as in the past, should be a haying operation. The vegetation should be cut, baled and removed from the area. In order to always maintain some residual cover along the east-west continuum of the I-94 right-of-way, it is recommended that only one side of the right-of-way be mowed at any one time. (ERA citation 03:029457)

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Portions of document are illegible.
  • Corporate Authors:

    North Dakota State University, Fargo

    Department of Zoology
    Fargo, ND  USA  58102

    Department of Energy

    1000 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20585
  • Authors:
    • Voorhees, L D
    • Cassel, J F
  • Publication Date: 1977

Media Info

  • Pagination: 23 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00181118
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Contract Numbers: W-7405-ENG-26
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 14 1978 12:00AM