Restoration of Wood Duck Habitat on Private Lands in Southern New Brunswick 2013-2014

Final Report: Restoration of Wood Duck Habitat on Private Lands in Southern New Brunswick, 2013-2014

Goals and Objectives

Our project plan would be to install 30 nesting boxes in 6 locations, plant 500 red, white, swamp white
& bur oak (acorns are the preferred forage for adult wood ducks), to provide future mast crops for food
and to enhance the current local vegetation by removing undesirable species (those not beneficial for
foraging on) and promoting the desirable species. Nesting boxes will be installed on trees/cedar posts,
predator guards will be installed at each box site, planted trees will be caged in areas were beaver
chewing or deer browsing are deemed a problem and undesirable vegetation will be removed via thinning
saw or chain saw.  Trees will be planted in the spring or fall and the vegetation enhancement will be
completed in the summer/fall.  Nesting boxes will be installed in the winter when the areas are frozen,
or from a boat in the summer/fall, if possible to do in a safe manner.

Specific Habitat Products/Results Supported by WHC’s Contributions

This project will involve the restoration of 6 wetland habitat locations.  Most of the sites we will be working
on, have a very limited amount, if any, nesting cavities around their wetland margins.  This in part is due
to, the flooded timber areas falling apart from old age, clearcutting or harvesting the wetland buffer areas
and in some cases, the removal of any hardwood seed/mast producing trees by the local deer and beaver
populations.  This project will begin the restoration process by adding nesting boxes and re-establishing
some mast-producing hardwood trees (caged/tubed to avoid beaver and browsing damage).  Limited
amounts of sapling/immature hardwood vegetation do still remain at each site, but simply needs to be
enhanced through the planting of mast producing species and through removal of undesirable woody
vegetation, to allow the desirable woody vegetation to grow more productively for future seed production.

Benefits to Waterfowl, Wetlands-Associated Species, and/or Other Wildlife

The focus of this project will be on the restoration of habitat for wood ducks.  Wood duck nesting boxes
will be placed at each location, along with the planting of (the adult wood duck’s favored food source of
acorns) oak trees.  The focus may be on the wood ducks but many other bottomland foragers will benefit
from the mast-producing oak trees and rejuvenated buffer zone areas including, deer, raccoons, squirrels
and other waterfowl such as mallards.

Relevance to Habitat Planning, Decision Making and/or Management

The direct influence of this project will be on the restoration and conservation of wetland habitat. With this
project being highly publicized through our woodlot owner organization and on-site signage, it is anticipated
that many more private woodlot owners will be interested in joining the movement and thus, conserving even
more wetlands in the area.  Those benefiting directly from this project will include private woodlot owners
and waterfowl enthusiasts. Restoration of the habitat on their lands will provide them with a much more
productive and diverse area on their woodlot, for them and their neighbors to benefit from.  Waterfowl
enthusiasts, whether they are waterfowlers/hunters or bird-watchers, will enjoy seeing the populations once
again be plentiful in the area. Also, all will enjoy checking the houses in the spring of each year, to be able
to easily see if the houses are being used and by what species of bird is using them.  Spring maintenance
will become an annual ritual, watching the nests being used and birds as they grow in them, which are all
activities each landowner will find great joy and reward in on their properties.  In-direct benefits will be
received by both WHC and the SNB Wood-Co-operative Ltd from being involved with such a worthy cause
and through promotional events and woodlot signage.  Exposure from this project will benefit both
organizations for future business endeavors as well.

Project Location

Kings, Queens and Albert Counties, Southern New Brunswick.

Project Contact

For more information on this project, please contact Jamie Floyd, Forester, SNB Wood Co-operative Ltd.,
New Brunswick.