Duck populations hit all-time high

The 2012 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey, conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service, recorded the largest spring duck population in the survey’s history. The annual report, released earlier this week, put the population at 48.6 million birds, a 7 percent increase from last year’s record of 45.6 million. 
The high population has been attributed to excellent wetland conditions in 2011.
Mallards, blue-winged teal, green-winged teal, gadwalls, canvasbacks, northern shovelers and scaup populations are all up significantly from last year. Both species of teal and shovelers were recorded at all-time highs. Mallard breeding numbers sit at 10.6 million.
While the total breeding population is strong, dry conditions this spring are expected to negatively impact breeding success this season. 
The Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitiat Survey has been conducted every May since 1955. To view the full 2012 report, visit

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