Habitat and Population Evaluation Team
Midwest Region

Predator Population Monitoring


In order to better manage our public properties for duck production and to maximize the benefits from our acquisition dollars more information is needed on the predator component in the landscape. Predators have a direct influence on duck nesting success. Simple knowledge of where certain predator species occur annually within managed landscapes may allow management to target practices that are beneficial to nesting ducks. Increased knowledge of predator interactions with the components of the landscapes in which they survive may allow management to adopt strategies that have a positive influence on duck production in the Prairie Pothole Region.

In 2003 - 2005, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat and Population Evaluation Team (HAPET) initiated a pilot project involving a predator track survey in conjunction with U.S. Geological Survey – Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. The purpose of this project was to develop a cost effective, efficient technique to determine predator species distribution and their relative abundance across the landscape. The scent-post survey presently conducted, certainly has value as an index to population status, however as an index to population abundance it falls short in providing spatially explicit information to population abundance. Ideally, this track survey will allow us to identify areas where certain predator species population abundances are either high or low provide us the opportunity to alter our management strategies to take advantage of that knowledge.

Predator Reports
Predation Management Review (February 2, 2005)
Mammalian Predator Distribution Assessment, 2003 - 2005 (Fact Sheet)
Monitoring Mammalian Predator Distributions and Development of Techniques to Assess Abundance of Predator Species (Final Report)
Technical Document on Modeling Carnivore Distributions (PDF)
Poster from Minnesota Waterfowl Association Symposium (Poster Session 2007)

Species Distribution Maps


Red Foxes


Stripped Skunks


American Badgers

Grassland Nesting Ducks: Predator Identification and Nest Success in Relation to Hostile Habitats.

 Habitat Suitability Maps   


Stripped Skunks


Mammalian Predator Relative Abundance Assessment

Fact Sheet: Modeling and mapping mesocarnivore abundance in the Prairie Pothole Region of Minnesota

For additional information about on predators contact:

Dan Hertel
Wildlife Biologist
Habitat and Population Evaluation Team

Cry of the Marsh
Strategic Habitat Conservation
Last updated: December 9, 2009