Habitat and Population Evaluation Team
Midwest Region

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Address:
Habitat and Population Evaluation Team
18965 County Hwy 82 S
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
Phone: 218-739-2291

Strategic Management Tools and Mapping Products:

Management Treatment Prioritization Process

Prioritization of Management, Landscape map

Strategic conservation is based on the idea that every area of the landscape has a unique biological potential and management cost. In order to improve the efficiency with which we conserve habitats for waterfowl conservation, the HAPET conducted a Management Treatment Planning Process (MTPP).

The process is founded on the characteristics of landscapes that affect waterfowl productivity, and guidelines that underlie our major management treatments. These characteristics and guidelines are being continually scrutinized and MTPP products will periodically be update.

Landscape characteristics used in this analysis include the settling density of upland nesting ducks (pair accessibility to upland nesting habitat), the amount of grass in the landscape (summarized for every potential breeding hen mallard home range), and proximity to semipermanent wetlands as brood habitat. Settling density is an important variable because it is an index to the potential number of breeding pairs we can effect with a treatment at a particular site – more pairs means greater cost effectiveness – and to the integrity of local wetland complexes.

Percent grass in the landscape is a reasonable surrogate measure of upland landscape integrity that may affect nest success, although, alone, this variable only accounts for about 5% of the variation in patch-level nest success. Proximity to brood habitat is thought to influence duckling survival. Categorical values used in the analysis were:

Click here to view landscape map

  Pair Accessibility % Grass in Landscape Access to Brood Habitat
High
>30 pairs/sq.mi
>40%
< 0.5 mi
Moderate
10-30 pairs/sq.mi
20-40%
Low
<10 pairs/sq.mi
<20%
>0.5 mi

Combining these variables results in 12 landscape types, each with different factors currently limiting waterfowl production, and each uniquely suited to a particular management treatment. These management treatments and the guidelines for their application are listed below.

1. Waterfowl Production Area (WPA) Acquisitions:

Acquire WPAs only in areas with adequate access to brood habitat (within 0.5 miles of a semipermanent wetland)

Pair Accessibility
Amount of Grass in a 4-sq. mi Landscape
>40%
20-40%
<20%
High (>30 pairs/sq.mi)
Highest
Highest
Moderate
Moderate (10-30 pairs/sq.mi)
High
High
Moderate
Low (<10 pairs/sq.mi)
Low
Low
Low

Outstanding features of proposed tracts may result in higher priority designations, e.g., other concurrent restoration projects in appropriate proximity, very large tracts (e.g., >640 ac) of contiguous grassland, high quality diving duck breeding or migration habitat, extremely low cost/acre, or partnerships that bear the majority of management costs thereby increasing cost effectiveness of Small Wetlands Acquisition Program (SWAP) expenditures, etc.

2. Wetland Easements:


Pair Accessibility
Amount of Grass in a 4-sq. mi Landscape
>40%
20-40%
<20%
High (>30 pairs/sq.mi)
Highest
Highest
Moderate
Moderate (10-30 pairs/sq.mi)

High

Moderate

Low
Low (<10 pairs/sq.mi)
Moderate
Low
Low

Increase 1 level if within 2 miles of Waterfowl Production Area

Priority ranking should increase 1 level if the proposed tract is within 2 miles of a Waterfowl Production Area and:
   (1)  the proposal includes predominantly temporary or seasonal wetlands in cropland, pasture,
          or other context with regular removal of residual vegetation; or
   (2)  the proposal includes predominantly semipermanent brood habitat in landscapes without, or
          with few, semipermanent wetlands.

3. Wetland Restorations:

A. Restorable wetlands in adequate proximity (<0.5 mi) of brood habitat and:

High and Moderate Duck Pair Accessibility and >20% Grass in the Landscape - HIGH
High and Moderate Duck Pair Accessibility and <20% Grass in the Landscape - LOW

Low Duck Pair Accessibility and >20% Grass in the Landscape - MODERATE
Low Duck Pair Accessibility and <20% Grass in the Landscape - LOW

Increase 1 level if within 2 miles of a Waterfowl Production Area.

If the proposed project is in an area with High or Moderate duck pair accessibility and grass <20%, ranking = MODERATE, if combined with appropriate intensive management.

B. The proposed restoration is a temporary or seasonal wetland that will be maintained in a
     cropped, grazed, hayed, or other disturbed context, within 2 miles of a WPA or other
     secured grassland within 0.5 miles of semipermanent  brood habitat, and:

Landscape > 40% grass - HIGH
Landscape 20-40% grass - MODERATE
Landscape < 20% grass - LOW

C.  The proposed restoration is a semipermanent wetland in areas with High or Moderate duck pair
      accessibility, in a landscape >20% grass, and in an area >0.5 mi from semipermanent brood
      habitat - HIGH Priority

D. The proposed restoration is located within an accepted Restoration Focus Area - HIGH

4. Grassland Easements and Restorations:

Protecting and conserving grassland is a priority management practice in any area with High and Moderate duck pair accessibility.

Within 0.5 mi of semipermanent brood habitat:
     High or Moderate Pairs >20% Grass HIGH Priority
     High or Moderate Pairs <20% Grass MODERATE

>0.5 mi from semipermanent brood habitat:
     High or Moderate Pairs >20% Grass MODERATE
     High or Moderate Pairs <20% Grass LOW
     Low Pairs LOW

5.  Intensive Management - Nesting Structures, Predator Exclosures, etc.

HIGH Priority Areas Only - High Pair Accessibility and <20% Grass

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Last updated: February 27, 2013