Monday, July 15, 2013

Duck Population Continues to be Strong

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has released its 2013 Duck Breeding Population Estimate, and reports "duck populations are strong." The current estimate of the number of ducks across Canada and the United States is 45.6 million. This is a 6% decrease vs. last year's estimate, but is 33% above the
long term average.  As a statistics teacher, I would say that the year-to-year estimates are going to vary quite a bit, so a 6% decrease is probably not statistically significant.

The report states that habitat is improved or the same as last year.  A late spring combined with higher than average precipitation has at least moved things in the right direction.  There was still quite a bit of deficit to overcome going into the spring, so conditions have not improved as much as one might expect. Survey data is available back to 1955 and can be accessed at