Not really a part of nature to have red fox on the priaries--they were introduced via England.
The ducks need 15 to 20% sucess on the nest to break even. All the studies I have read about are 0 to 20% with an average of 8%
Which means less and less ducks each year--all due to predators/lack of suitable grassalnds. Red fox and Coon are tied for about 25-30% and then Mink and skunks at 15-20% each.
The loss of grassland nesting habitat is appalling in the Dakotas and CA. It is the least amount of grasslands since CRP started IMO which does NOT bode well for the overall duck population.
You Pheasnt hunters will understand this--how long does a dog take to cover 160 acres looking for pheasants? So how long do you think a red fox which depends on their life to obtain food would take to find a nesting duck or pheasant? Bottom line is large tracks of grasslands (40% of the township is the threshold for highest natural nesting conditions) is what is needed to obtain 30% nesting success, where the grasslands are hardly available, it success is zero-yes 0 % nesting sucess because the birds are so concentrated and thus easy for the predators to find. :pissed:
On a side note, I was pleased to see more winter wheat being planted in ND than ever before which can be of help.