Spatial and temporal trends in nesting habitat use and availability for cavity nesting waterfowl in the lower Saint John River floodplain
Cavity-nesting ducks, including the wood duck, common goldeneye, and hooded merganser, are of interest in wildlife management programs due to their value to hunters and conservation groups. The lower Saint John River floodplain (New Brunswick, Canada) is a major breeding region for these species in Atlantic Canada that has experienced significant changes in recent decades. These ducks depend on natural cavities that form in trees to nest, but they will also use nest boxes when available. To improve the availability of suitable nesting space, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) runs a nest box program in the lower Saint John River region to help maintain and increase their populations. An assessment of the program, including how use and availability of nest boxes compares to use and availability of natural cavities, is being undertaken in order to better understand the impacts of the nest box program on these species.