Although many species of North American ducks declined in numbers from 2012, populations are in good condition, according to a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) study.
The preliminary estimate of total duck populations provided in the 2013 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations report was 45.6 million birds.
The report provides estimated survey data from north-central United States, south-central and northern Canada, and Alaska. The total duck estimate excludes scoters, eiders, long-tailed ducks, mergansers and wood ducks.
mallard estimated abundance is 10.4 million birds
Blue-winged teal estimated abundance is 7.7 million
Green-winged teal estimated abundance is 3.1 million
Northern pintail estimated abundance is 3.3 million
Estimated abundance of American wigeon is 2.6 million
Combined lesser and greater scaup estimated abundance is 4.2 million
Canvasback estimated abundance is 787,000
The surveys are conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Canadian Wildlife Services’ Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey, sampling more than 2 million square miles of waterfowl habitat across Alaska, the north-central and northeastern United States and south-central, eastern and northern Canada. Information is not included from surveys conducted by state or provincial agencies.
The annual survey guides the Service’s waterfowl conservation programs under authority of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The Service works in partnership with state biologists from the four flyways – the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific – to establish regulatory frameworks for waterfowl hunting season lengths, dates and bag limits.
For more information about the surveyed areas, the survey methodology and the estimates, the Trends Report in Duck Breeding Populations, 1955-2013 report can be downloaded from the Service's Web site at www.fws.gov/migratorybirds.
source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service