US Fish & Wildlife Service

 

Date of this Version

7-23-2003

Citation

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2003. Waterfowl population status, 2003. U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 53pp.

Abstract

In the Breeding Population and Habitat Survey traditional survey area (strata 1-18, 20-50, and 75-77), the total duck population estimate was 36.2 ± 0.7 (±1 standard error) million birds, 16% above last year’s estimate of 31.2 ± 0.5 million birds (P <0.001), and 9% above the 1955-2002 long-term average (P <0.001). Mallard abundance was 7.9 ± 0.3 million birds, similar to last year’s estimate of 7.5 ± 0.2 million birds (P =0.220) and to the long-term average (P =0.100). Blue-winged teal were 5.5 ± 0.3 million birds, 31% above last year’s estimate of 4.2 ± 0.2 million birds (P =0.001) and 23% above the long-term average (P=0.001). Shovelers (3.6 ± 0.2 million; +56%) and pintails (2.6 ± 0.2 million; +43%) were above their 2002 estimates (P <0.001), while gadwall (2.5 ± 0.2 million), American wigeon (2.6 ± 0.2 million), green-winged teal (2.7 ± 0.2 million), redheads (0.6 ± 0.1 million), canvasbacks (0.6 ± 0.1 million), and scaup (3.7 ± 0.2 million) were unchanged from their 2002 estimates (P =0.149). Gadwall (+55%) and shovelers (+72%) were above their long-term averages (P <0.001). Green-winged teal were at their second highest level since 1955, 46% above their long-term average (P <0.001). Pintails (-39%) and scaup (-29%) remained well below their long-term averages (P <0.001). American wigeon, redheads, and canvasbacks were unchanged from their long-term averages (P =0.582). Total May ponds (Prairie Canada and the north-central U.S.) at 5.2 ± 0.2 million was 91% higher than last year (P<0.001) and 7% above the long-term average (P =0.034). Canadian and U.S. ponds were 3.5 ± 0.2 and 1.7 ± 0.1 million respectively and both above 2002 (+145% and +30%. P <0.001). Canadian ponds were similar to their 1961-2002 average (P =0.297), while U.S. ponds were 10% above their 1974-2002 average (P =0.037). The projected mallard fall flight index was 10.3 ± 0.9 million birds. The eastern survey area was comprised of strata 51-56 and 62-69. The 2003 total-duck population estimate for this area was 3.6 ± 0.3 million birds, 17% lower than last year (4.4 ± 0.3 million birds, P =0.065), but similar to the 1996-2002 average (P =0.266). Individual species estimates were similar to last year and to their 1996-2002 averages, with the exception of mergansers (0.6 ± 0.1 million), which decreased 30% from its 2002 estimate (P =0.035).



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