The S.C. Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the S.C. State Chapter of Ducks Unlimited and the S.C. Department of Corrections, will continue to build and distribute wood duck boxes this winter. Applications for those interested in getting one are available online and will be accepted until Nov. 1.
About 1,000 boxes will be available for distribution, according to a DNR news release. Ducks Unlimited has contributed approximately 50 percent of the cost for construction and distribution and the Wateree Correctional Institute will assemble the predator shields and construct the boxes. Each unit will consist of a treated pole, a predator shield and assembled box, the release said.
The wood duck is the most important waterfowl species in the state and is the only duck that breeding habitat can be managed effectively throughout all geographic regions of the state. The Project supplements natural production in tree cavities of forested wetlands by providing artificial nesting sites. Fewer natural cavities are available today because of the impacts of human activity upon bottomland hardwoods, the release said.
Private land owners wishing to obtain wood duck boxes can download an application by going to the website. For more information, contact the Statewide Wood Duck Box Project at 1-843-844-8957. As many as five boxes per applicant or property will be available for distribution.
The statewide began providing nest boxes to landowners who requested them in 1982. Since then, more than 32,000 nest box units have been issued to more than 4,300 people, according to the release. The project provides nest boxes, poles and predator guards to landowners having suitable wood duck production and brood-rearing habitat.