Delta Waterfowl http://www.deltawaterfowl.org/ has released its 2012 annual duck breeding survey. In spite of the challenging spring and early summer conditions found in many areas, together with the habitat declines in the Prairie Pothole areas, overall populations continued their long term growth trend. Among the other good news contained in the survey is that in spite of the habitat declines in the Eastern Survey area, populations of the primary species were largely unchanged from 2011.
If you’ve never seen a Delta Waterfowl survey they are worth a peek. What is most stunning to the casual waterfowl observe, is not only the long term total duck population recovery trend (22.7% overall increase since 1955), but the change in species composition.
Considerable concern remains, however, about the long term habitat declines in the prairie pothole regions of both the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, the report closes with a discussion on the importance of the U.S. Farm Bill currently being debated in the U.S. House of Representatives (NMCN Post – Sportsmen Need to Call to Save Farm Bill – https://nmconservationnetwork.org/2012/07/20/sportsmen-need-to-call-to-save-farm-bill/ ). Beyond the declines in CRP enrollment, increasing commodity prices are likely to place increased pressures on both native grasses and wetlands by agricultural producers who face critical land use decisions.
Delta Waterfowl began in 1911 and predates the founding of their partner organization, Ducks Unlimited (DU). DU, like so many other conservation organizations which were founded during the movement era of 1936-37, celebrated its 75th Anniversary this year. The Delta Waterfowl Breeding survey report can be retrieved through the link which follows: Status-of-Breeding-Ducks-2012B