The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its 2012 North American breeding duck report today, and waterfowl numbers are at an all-time high.
According to the report, “Trends in Duck Breeding Populations,” this year’s estimated waterfowl population is 48.6 million, a significant increase from last year’s estimated 45.6 million birds and 43 percent above the long-term average.
A joint venture between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Service, the annual spring breeding duck survey samples more than 2 million square miles of waterfowl habitat across the United States and Canada.
The increase comes despite less water on the landscape this spring. According to Frank Rohwer, scientific director for Delta Waterfowl, duck populations are reaping the benefits of abundant water conditions last spring.
“Last year, we made a pile of ducks,” Rohwer said in a statement. “This year, we’re counting them.”
I’ll have a closer look at the report and results from Minnesota’s spring waterfowl survey (which wasn’t as rosy) in Sunday’s Outdoors pages.
To see the full report, click here: