Nine percent decline in US water birds in last year14/07/2008 16:29:02
July 2008. The preliminary estimate of duck numbers from the 2008 US Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey was just over 37 million, which is a nine percent decline from last year's estimate, but still 11 percent greater than the 1955-2007 average. In the U.S. and Canadian prairies, population estimates of many species declined; while populations increased in the boreal forest to the north, most probably reflecting in part those birds that overflew the prairies because of drier habitat conditions there.
Highlights from the survey
Covers two million square miles
Population estimates for American black ducks, ring-necked ducks, American wigeon, bufflehead, goldeneyes, and mergansers surveyed in eastern North America were similar to last year as well as their 1990-2007 averages.
This preliminary report does not include estimates from surveys conducted by State or Provincial agencies. The entire 2008 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations report can be downloaded from the Service's Web site at http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/