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Waterfowl in the Northern Great Plains
The Northern Great Plains is considered one of 67 areas of continental significance to North American waterfowl in the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). A significant portion of North America’s continental waterfowl population either breeds or migrates through the NGPJV area. While the NGPJV provides important spring and fall migration habitat for waterfowl, it is most significant as a breeding area. The vast expanses of relatively unfragmented grassland in much of this region enable ducks to disperse their nests over a much larger landscape, making them less vulnerable to mammalian predators. Therefore, duck nest success in the NGPJV area should be quite high due to the combination of vast expanses of grassland and a predator community that is primarily dominated by coyotes. Moreover, such a landscape supports much smaller numbers of other mammalian predators such as red fox, raccoon, and skunk, and few avian predators compared to the Prairie Pothole Region.