Nov 15, 2018 -
As duck season approaches, Ducks Unlimited reports that while 2018 numbers are down,
populations remain healthy.
Total populations of breeding ducks in the survey areas used by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
are estimated to be 41.2 million, 13 percent below last year’s estimate of 47.3 million birds but
still 17 percent above the long-term average.
DU Chief Scientist Tom Moorman said the dip for breeding ducks isn’t unexpected or
unprecedented given that conditions on the prairies were drier this past spring.
"As a result, 2018 populations dropped accordingly,” he said. “However, populations of all key
species except northern pintails and scaup remain above long-term averages. This year's
breeding population decline is a reminder of the need to sustain the capacity of breeding
habitats, particularly in the prairies as we go through natural variation in wetland conditions.
Waterfowl populations are adapted well to short-term swings in habitat conditions, but we
must continue to guard against the long-term loss of prairie breeding habitat."
Check out the full FWS report for 2018 here.
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