Wetland Conservation and Management for the Texas Central Coast

Habitat Management for Mottled Ducks

Mottled ducks are year-round residents along the Texas Gulf Coast and inhabit the coastal marshes and inland freshwater wetlands of the region. Current population data for mottled ducks indicate declining numbers in Texas. Range-wide degradation of coastal marsh and prairies has reduced habitat availability for mottled ducks. Conservation professionals have prioritized habitat management efforts that benefit breeding pairs, nesting females, ducklings and molting ducks. Thus, activities that (1) create, enhance and restore shallow freshwater emergent wetlands; (2) maintain shallow water from late winter through summer; and (3) provide adjacent grassland habitat for nesting females are recommended to provide favorable conditions for mottled ducks.

A pair of mottled ducks (male at left) loafing in an emergent wetland. Male mottled ducks are identified by a yellow to greenish-yellow bill while females have an orange bill with or without dark markings.