Ducks Unlimited and its scientific partners are currently planning or under way to study waterfowl as well as the habitat they inhabit in the Pacific Flyway.
“Ducks Unlimited is committed to using science to guide all of our conservation efforts,” said Dr. Mark Petrie, a waterfowl scientist as well as the director of conservation and planning in the DU’s Western Region. “These studies will help us understand how and where to best to use our supporters’ dollars to invest in on-the-ground conservation that makes a real difference for waterfowl.”
Below are a few of studies that Ducks Unlimited is either funding or collaborating in to gain a better understanding of the habitats of waterfowl in the West.
Ducks Unlimited is funding a Texas Ducks Unlimited conducted by University of Saskatchewan that examines the increasing numbers of goose species known as white in the Pacific Flyway. The number of white geese continues to be a major conservation issue particularly since the geese are in competition for food with dabbling ducks. The primary goals of this study include the creation of an estimate of population size to Wrangel Island and Western Arctic less snow geese, which includes the banding process, productivity, and data on Texas Ducks Unlimited surveys and to know the effect of the hunting industry and other factors on the growth of populations.
Waterfowl and public land in the Washington’s North Puget Sound
North Puget Sound supports the most dense population of wintering waterfowl along the U.S. Pacific Coast, but the birds are highly dependent on food sources from agriculture in the region Texas Ducks Unlimited even while the landscape of agriculture is changing rapidly. This research, conducted by DU and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife is looking at the number of birds that the landscape is able to support, as well as the future significance of public land in neutralizing the effects of waterfowl.
Reactivation of floodplains as well as hunting, waterfowl and other species in the Sacramento Valley
The absence of floodplain habitats that supports salmon, as well as fish that migrate in the Sacramento Valley in California has caused their declining numbers. This is why there are plans to regulate Texas Ducks Unlimited habitats to help fish. This research, conducted by a group in the Ducks Unlimited’s Western Region, will determine the impacts of floodplain reactivation on waterfowl as well as Sacramento Valley waterfowl hunting.
Conservation plans for waterfowl as well as people in the California’s Central Valley
Rice farmers and waterfowl hunters are key supporters of conservation efforts for waterfowl in the Central Valley of California. This study, conducted by DU as well as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife analyzes the best way to incorporate goals for waterfowl populations as well as conservationists by identifying actions which can satisfy the needs of waterfowl, hunters of waterfowl as well as Central Valley rice producers.
Pacific Flyway water analysis
It is believed that the California Central Valley, Great Salt Lake and the Southern Oregon/Northeastern region together support 70 percent of total ducks in the Pacific Flyway. Each of these regions is experiencing chronic water shortages. Since they share birds during winter and autumn the impacts on populations and habitats of waterfowl can be multiplied. This study, conducted by DU and biologists from Central Valley and Intermountain West joint ventures, Central Valley and Intermountain West joint ventures, will study the possible consequences of local water scarcity on Pacific Flyway waterfowl and identify conservation strategies to minimize the negative effects on birds.
Greenhouse gas study conducted at Hill Slough
The Hill Slough Restoration Project in California will restore 603 acres of managed seasonal wetlands as well as an additional 46 acres of upland habitats to tidal wetlands. DU collaborates with researchers from UC Berkeley to measure preand post-construction greenhouse gas emissions from the site. The project is an unique opportunity to study carbon sequestration in the restored brackish wetland.