Duck Numbers Remain Strong this Year
Despite slight declines, most species remain well above long-term averages
The US Fish and Wildlife Service today released its report on 2013 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations, based on surveys conducted in May and early June. Total populations were estimated at 45.6 million breeding ducks in the surveyed area. This estimate represents a 6-percent decrease from last year’s estimate of 48.6 million birds, and is 33 percent above the 1955-2012 long-term average.
Of the 10 species surveyed, 7 were similar to last year’s estimates, including mallards. Scaup and blue-winged teal were significantly below last year’s estimates. Wigeon were 23 percent above last year. Mallards, similar in number to 2012, are 36 percent above the long-term average. Two species (northern pintail and scaup) remained below their long-term average and North American Waterfowl Management Plan goals.