Understanding the factors that determine waterfowl nesting site selection is an essential tool for wetland management, but, unfortunately, this information is lacking for most species in the Southern Hemisphere. During the 2007 breeding season, reproductive biology and nesting habitat selection of the Red Shoveler (Anas platalea) were investigated in a wetland of Central Chile. Red Shoveler nests were clumped, primarily in scrubby meadows, containing an average of 8.56 ± 1 eggs (n = 2 3). Nesting microhabitat was characterized by well-covered ground and an intermediate height of the rich herbaceous layer close to the water. Hatching success was 80 ± 20% and was negatively associated with the number of cattle dung piles and the proportion of dry vegetation, but positively explained by herbaceous height and the distance to watercourse. Results suggest that the risk of predation, the access to food, and cattle disturbance would affect the selection of breeding sites and nest success of Red Shoveler. Management should focus on increasing diversity the herbaceous layer, ensuring easy access to water sources, and decreasing livestock pressure during the nesting period.
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