US Fish & Wildlife Service


Date of this Version



Published in Administrative Report (2005) 21 pages.


This report summarizes information about the status of duck populations and wetland habitats during spring 2005, focusing on areas encompassed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) and Canadian Wildlife Services’ (CWS) Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey. The estimates do not include information from surveys conducted by State or Provincial agencies. In the traditional survey area, which includes strata 1-18, 20-50, and 75-77 (Fig. 1), 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 31.7 ± 0.6 [SE] million birds, similar to last year’s estimate of 32.2 ± 0.6 million birds but 5% below the 1955-2004 long-term averagea. Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) abundance was 6.8 ± 0.3 million birds, which was 9% below last year’s estimate of 7.4 ± 0.3 million birds and 10% below the long-term average. Blue-winged teal (A. discors) abundance was 4.6 ± 0.2 million birds. This value was similar to last year’s estimate of 4.1 ± 0.2 million birds and the long-term average. Of the other duck species, gadwall (A. strepera; 2.2 ± 0.1 million) was 16% below that of 2004, while estimates of northern pintails (A. acuta; 2.6 ± 0.1 million; +17%) and northern shovelers (A. clypeata; 3.6 ± 0.2 million; +28%) were significantly above 2004 estimates. The estimate for northern shovelers was 67% above the long-term average for this species, as were estimates of gadwall (+30%) and green-winged teal (A. crecca; 2.2 ± 0.1 million; +16%). Northern pintails remained 38% below their long-term average despite this year’s increase in abundance. Estimates of American wigeon (A. americana; 2.2 ± 0.1 million; -15%) and scaup (Aythya affinis and A. marila combined; 3.4 ± 0.2; -35%) also were below their respective long-term averages; the estimate for scaup was a record low.