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ENVIRO-NEWS  July 2006

ENVIRO-NEWS July 2006

Subject:

2006 Waterfowl Survey Shows Duck Population Gains

From:

"Makuch, Joe" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Makuch, Joe

Date:

Mon, 17 Jul 2006 15:33:21 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (151 lines)

-----Original Message-----
From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
Of [log in to unmask]
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2006 11:44 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [fws-news] 2006 Waterfowl Survey Shows Duck Population Gains

Contacts: Nicholas Throckmorton 202-208-5634


The preliminary 2006 Waterfowl Breeding Ground Population and Habitat
Survey conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates a total
duck population of more than 36 million; or a 14 percent increase from
last
year's estimate and 9 percent above the 1955-2005 average.

The survey indicated an increase in the quality of waterfowl breeding
habitat in the United States and Canada from 2005. Improvements in
Canadian
and U.S. prairie habitats were primarily due to average to above-average
precipitation, warm spring temperatures and the good summer conditions
of
2005. The higher number of ponds counted in Prairie Canada this year
relative to last are a strong indicator of the improved habitat
conditions.

"There's a lot of good news in the survey this year for the total duck
population and waterfowl breeding habitat," said H. Dale Hall, Director
of
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "Most species increased above the
estimates of last year and numbers were above the long term baseline.
We're especially excited about the fact that while pintail populations
are
below their historic average numbers, the survey shows a 32 percent
increase in pintail population from the previous year.  However, wigeon
and
scaup are not experiencing those positive trends and that's cause for
concern."

The Waterfowl Breeding Ground Population and Habitat Survey, the largest
and most comprehensive survey of its kind in the world, samples 1.3
million
square miles across the north-central United States, south-central and
northern Canada, and Alaska. The survey estimates the number of ducks in
the continent's most important nesting grounds.

Annual survey results help guide the Service in managing waterfowl
conservation programs under authority of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty
Act. The Service works in partnership with state representatives from
the
four flyways - the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific - that
waterfowl and other birds use during their migrations to establish
regulatory frameworks for waterfowl hunting season lengths, dates and
bag
limits.

Highlights from the survey in the north-central United States,
south-central and northern Canada, and Alaska include:

*     Mallard abundance was 7.3 million birds, which was similar to last
year's estimate of 6.8 million birds and the long-term average.
*     Blue-winged teal abundance was 5.9 million birds. This value was
28
percent greater than last year's estimate of 4.6 million birds and 30
percent above the long-term average.
*     The estimated abundance of green-winged teal at 2.6 million was 20
percent greater than last year and 39 percent above the long-term
average.
*     The estimated number of 2.8 million gadwall was 30 percent greater
than last year and was 67 percent above the long-term average; whereas
the
estimated number of 916,000 redheads increased 55 percent over 2005 and
was
47 percent above the long-term average.
*     Canvasbacks numbered 691,000, 33 percent higher than last year and
23
percent over the long-term average.
*     Northern shovelers at 3.7 million were 69 percent above their
long-term average.
*     Although the numbers of most species increased over last year and
were greater than their long-term averages, American wigeon at 2.2
million
and scaup (lesser and greater combined; 3.2 million) were 17 percent and
37
percent below their long-term averages, respectively. The estimate for
scaup was a record low for the second consecutive year.
*     The abundance of northern pintails at 3.4 million was 18 percent
below the 1955-2005 average, although this year's estimate was 32
percent
greater than that of last year.

This preliminary report does not include estimates for the eastern
survey
area or information from surveys conducted by State or Provincial
agencies.
The entire 2006 Trends in Waterfowl Breeding Populations report can be
downloaded from the Service's Web site at <
http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/> and will be updated when the data
are
compiled.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and
plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge
System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of
small
wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69
national
fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services
field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers
the
Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores
nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife
habitat
such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal
governments
with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance
program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise
taxes
on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


                                   -fws-

************************************************************************
***
News releases are also available on the World Wide Web at 
http://news.fws.gov 

Questions concerning a particular news release or item of
information should be directed to the person listed as the
contact. General comments or observations concerning the
content of the information should be directed to Malcomb Barsella
([log in to unmask]) in the Office of Public Affairs.

***********************************************
Enviro-News is a service of the Water Quality
Information Center at the National Agricultural
Library.  The center's Web site is at
http://www.nal.usda.gov/wqic/.

The Enviro-News list facilitates information exchange.
Inclusion of an item in Enviro-News does not imply
United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) agreement,
nor does USDA attest to the accuracy or completeness of
the item. (See http://www.nal.usda.gov/listserv.html.)
You can contact the list owner at
[log in to unmask]
***********************************************

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