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Can we move on ? BANDS

4013 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Bobby Cox
OK we have a couple of research biologists that visit this site and all we continue to discuss is the survey. Move on.

Bobby I have a couple of questions. If the questions cut to close to home (work) and you do not want to answer on this site then may be just provide the Journal reference.

I have often read that the rate of return on reward ($$$) bands far exceeds the return rate for simple bands on shot ducks. I for one enjoy finding out where the ducks and geese where banded. I will not load the questions with my hypothesis on why just questions:

Return on reward bands higher than return on typical data band ?

How much higher ?

Any work done on why this occurs ?
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Reward bands are bands with dollar values stamped on them that are put on ducks in addition to standard bands. In other words, a duck carrying a reward band is double-banded, one band being the standard band, and the other band stating "Reward," a dollar value, and a number. Numbers for both bands must be reported to receive the reward.

Prairie Hunter:

Reward bands are used to estimate band reporting rates (the probability that, given a normal banded duck is shot and retrieved or found dead, the band is reported to the Bird-banding Lab in Maryland. Ron Reynolds et al. (1991; Journal of Wildlife Management 55:119-126) placed reward bands of differing dollar values on ducks and showed that $100 was sufficient to achieve band reporting rates near 100%. Prior to the 1-800 system where hunters can call in and report recoveries over the phone, reporting rates averaged about 33%. But band reporting rates jumped to around 80% with the adoption of the 1-800 system.

The big jump in reporting rates with the adoption of the 1-800 system suggests that low reporting rates in the past were due to confusion by hunters or other difficulty in reporting bands. Old bands simply said write Washington D.C. Even though the zip code stamped on the band was specific to the Bird-banding Lab, few people thought that a letter addressed to Washington D.C. with no street address would ever arrive at the proper destination. Also, there was a lot of confusion by hunters in the past that reporting bands meant they had to send in the band, and many hunters, of course, want to keep them for souvenirs.

Reporting rates are important for estimating harvest rates. Let's say that we band 1000 female mallards and 50 are reported by hunters the following fall and winter as being shot. This gives us a direct recovery rate of 50/1000=5%. But not all banded ducks shot by hunters were retrieved, and not all banded ducks shot and retrieved were reported to the Bird Lab. If we estimate crippling loss as 20%, for example, then 0.05/0.8=0.0625 is an estimate of the proportion of ducks that were shot and retrieved and shot and not retrieved, assuming reporting rates were 100%. If we take into account the information that reporting rates are about 80%, then 0.0625/0.8=0.078 is an estimate of the harvest rate, accounting for both crippling loss and reporting rates.

Reporting rates are estimated by examining the difference in direct recovery rate of reward bands versus that of standard bands.
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never shot a duck with either. My brothers first trip to ND and his first duck was banded hen mallard 8 years old from Grand forks, we were hunting near Mcville ND. What I don't get is why people buy and sell them?
Thanks for the great report Bobby. I knew why they were put in place and have held the $100 reward band in my hand, unfortunately it was not my shot. :cry:

Bands and collars lead to some added excitement to hunting waterfowl. It is always great to pick that bird up and see the jewelry. :D My dad tought me how to report the birds and to appreciate the certificate when received.

I am glad to see the reporting rate improve with the toll free number. It must be nice to have that many more data points in your studies.

Was there any regions of the country that failed to report bands more often than others ?

Do not have to tell who, just if it occurred. If the lack of response and/or reporting is not geographically random (ie one state or region failed to report the bands more often) it would obviously effect the accuracy of your studies or those banding birds long before you.

One last comment. Please pass on to the Banding Lab that the quality of the Certificate is so good now that I may have to request new copies of all my band appreciation certificates. The old print-outs were often smeared and almost impossible to read. The new certificates are fantastic. :D :D :D
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Here is my take on the matter. Bands on the lanyard are often the mark of success in some regions of the country. I guess just like anything else if you can not get them yourself, buy them.

From my previous post:

There are several large banding efforts underway in North America. Several large banding efforts on snow geese across the Arctic (lots of neck bands will be put on). There have also been some major banding efforts going on for ND ducks over the past few years. Should be more jewelry flying around than ever. (Thanks Bobby)

Anyway - a few comments in regards to the hunters and guides with lots of bands.

1) hunters and guides in Arkansas get more bands than just about anywhere else. The reason is mallards are banded more than any other waterfowl. Mallards from both the MS and Central Flyways tend to winter pretty heavily in Arkansas. I know hunters in Louisiana and Texas who have never seen banded ducks because they tend to shoot a lot of wigeon, teal, and gadwall.

2) guides will almost always claim the bands from any duck shot in their party. If a successful guide is running through a lot of hunters; I am sure they can ring up quite a few bands over a few short years in time; especially if you are in Arkansas or off a major Canada goose refuge.

3) EBAY. Believe it or not you can purchase bands and neck bands on the net. EBAY auctions often have many duck bands for sale. If you are wealthy and want to appear like a big time hunter; I guess you can buy a bunch of bands.
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Prairie Hunter:

Jim Nichols and others (1995; Journal of Wildlife Management 59:697-708) found that georgraphic variation in band reporting rates was small.

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