Outdoors blog: Mid-continent duck numbers on par with last year
View my profile Click here to view previous posts or additional resources Add/view comment(s) | Permalink Mid-continent duck numbers about the same Total mid-continent duck numbers remain about the same as last year at nearly 41 million, accordin...
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Mid-continent duck numbers about the same
Total mid-continent duck numbers remain about the same as last year at nearly 41 million, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The service released its preliminary report on Friday. This year's total of 41 million ducks is 21 percent above the long-term average.
"These are encouraging numbers, as we see most species are at or above their long-term averages," Dale Humburg, Ducks Unlimited chief biologist, said in a prepared staement. "The habitat conditions in many regions should support a good breeding effort."
Habitat conditions across the U.S. and Canadian prairies and parklands were generally good, according the Fish and Wildlife Service news release. However, further north, wetland conditions in boreal regions of Alaska and northern Canada were only fair at the time of the survey. During the survey and into early summer, many regions important to breeding ducks received significant precipitation, which could increase later breeding efforts and ensure brood survival. If these wet conditions continue, prospects going into the winter and possibly into spring 2011 could be favorable as well.
Mallards, gadwalls, green-winged teal, northern shovelers and redheads mirrored last year's numbers, and all remained above their long-term averages. Canvasback and American wigeon numbers were similar to last year's, as were pintail and scaup numbers, although populations of these two species remain below their long-term averages.