US Fish & Wildlife Service

 

Date of this Version

7-3-2002

Citation

Wilkins, K. A. and M. C. Otto, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, TRENDS IN DUCK BREEDING POPULATIONS, 1955-2002, (July 3, 2002).

Abstract

This report summarizes information about the status of duck populations and their habitats during spring 2002, and focuses on areas encompassed by the Breeding Waterfowl and Habitat Survey. These estimates do not include information from State or Provincial agency surveys. The traditional survey area includes strata 1-18, 20-50, and 75-77. In the traditional survey area, the total duck population estimate (excluding scoters [Melanitta spp.], eiders [Somateria and Polysticta spp.], long-tailed ducks [Clangula hyemalis], mergansers [Mergus and Lophodytes spp.], and wood ducks [Aix sponsa]) was 31.2 ± 0.5 [SE] million birds, 14% below (P < 0.001) last year’s estimate of 36.1 ± 0.6 million birds, and 6% below (P < 0.001) the 1955-2001 long-term average. Mallard abundance was 7.5 ± 0.2 million birds, which was similar to last year’s estimate of 7.9 ± 0.2 million (P = 0.23) and essentially identical to the 1955-2001 average (P = 1.00). Blue-winged teal abundance was estimated to be 4.2 ± 0.2 million birds. This value was 27% below (P < 0.001) last year’s estimate of 5.8 ± 0.3 million, but unchanged (P = 0.22) from the 1955-2001 average. Gadwall (2.2 ± 0.1 million, -17%), shovelers (2.3 ± 0.1 million, -30%), and pintails (1.8 ± 0.1 million, -46%) were below 2001 estimates (P ≤ 0.02). Wigeon (2.3 ± 0.1 million), green-winged teal (2.3 ± 0.1 million), redheads (0.6 ± 0.1 million), canvasbacks (0.5 ± 0.1 million), and scaup (3.5 ± 0.2 million) were unchanged from 2001 estimates. Gadwall (+37%), green-winged teal (+28%), and shovelers (+10%) all remained above their long-term averages, whereas wigeon (-12%), pintails (-58%), canvasbacks (-14%), and scaup numbers (-34%) were below long-term averages. The counts for pintails and scaup were the lowest and second lowest on record, respectively. The number of redheads was similar to the long-term average (P = 0.38).



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