Graduation Year

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.S.

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Geography, Environment and Planning

Major Professor

Joni Downs Firat, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Philip van Beynen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Shawn Landry, Ph.D.

Keywords

Urban ponds, nuisance waterfowl, land management strategies, shoreline modifications

Abstract

Muscovy ducks are native only to Central and South America, Mexico, and parts of southern Texas and are considered invasive in some areas outside of their native range. Although they have been introduced worldwide, they remain largely unstudied. The primary focus of this study was to relate Muscovy duck abundance to habitat characteristics of wetlands in Tampa, Florida. Muscovy abundance was measured using point count methods at 21 wetland sites that occur within an eight km radius of the University of South Florida’s main campus. Habitat features at these sites were assessed using field methods and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (Arc 10.1v). Mann-Whitney U tests and Chi-squared tests were performed to identify significant differences between quantitative data groups. A Chi-squared test determined that there was not a positive correlation between Muscovy abundance and fountains or water regime, yet identified a significant relationship between Muscovy abundance and fencing, in which Muscovies did not frequently occupy ponds with fencing. Mann-Whitney U tests did not identify significances between Muscovy abundance and other habitat groups. Since Muscovy ducks are listed as an invasive species, identifying habitat preferences and deterrents will assist land managers and property owners with habitat modifications in preventing or controlling nuisance Muscovy populations.

Available for download on Wednesday, May 09, 2018

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