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Maryland DNR Announces 2011 Midwinter Waterfowl Survey Results

Release from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have released the results of the 2011 Midwinter Waterfowl Survey. Each winter, pilots and biologists from the two agencies count ducks, geese and swans along Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay shoreline and Atlantic coast. In January 2011, survey teams observed 640,700 waterfowl which is lower than the number of waterfowl observed in January 2010 (787,100).

“It is important to remember that the Maryland survey results are ultimately pooled with results from other states to provide a measure of the distribution and population of waterfowl wintering in the Atlantic Flyway,” said Larry Hindman, DNR’s Waterfowl Project Leader. “The survey is conducted in a coordinated manner across the Atlantic Flyway states to provide an annual index of the population size for important waterfowl species like black ducks, Atlantic brant and tundra swans.”

This decline is largely due to the observance of fewer Canada geese and snow geese along bay shoreline habitats. Large numbers of geese likely went undetected at inland locations, which are not covered by the survey. However, wintering Canada geese (397,700) remained high and their numbers were bolstered by geese pushed south by the cold temperatures and heavy snow cover in areas north of Maryland.

Overall, greater numbers of ducks were counted in 2011 (199,300) than last winter (173,700), mainly attributed to higher numbers of mallards (55,600) and canvasbacks (43,600). In addition, exceptional numbers of gadwalls were observed on the submerged aquatic vegetation beds on the Susquehanna Flats.

“Cold weather and the associated heavy snow and ice north of Maryland contributed to higher duck numbers in the Chesapeake,” Hindman said.

The Midwinter Waterfowl Survey has been conducted annually throughout the United States since the early 1950s. The survey provides information on long-term trends in waterfowl.

Species 2007 2008 2009

2010

2011
Mallard 39,700 55,500 58,300 34,200 55,600
Black Duck 13,800 23,000 24,900 22,500 22,900
Gadwall 1,400 3,000 2,800 2,000 6,400
Widgeon 400 800 500 300 200
G-W Teal 3,300 4,600 1,400 600 600
Shoveler 100 600 400 100 100
Pintail 500 2,000 800 500 1,200
Total Dabblers 59,200 89,500 89,000 60,100 87,000
Redhead 1,100 11,900 12,400 3,400 4,700
Canvasback 13,700 40,100 51,300 26,400 43,600
Scaup 25,700 140,000 51,600 43,500 29,700
Ring-neck 900 2,100 1,700 900 1,600
Goldeneye 700 800 1,000 600 300
Bufflehead 12,000 18,400 15,900 13,700 7,500
Ruddy Duck 19,800 19,700 23,600 13,400 16,500
Total Divers 73,900 233,000 157,600 102,000 103,900
Scoters 2,100 2,900 2,900 900 200
Long-tailed Duck 500 400 400 200 400
Mergansers 1,700 4,300 8,900 10,600 7,700
Total Ducks 137,400 330,100 261,000 173,700 199,300
Brant 500 1,400 800 1,000 1,500
Snow Goose 46,600 108,000 61,200 78,600 28,200
Canada Goose 285,700 373,100 498,200 519,500 397,100
Tundra Swan 8,700 11,700 14,200 14,000 14,400
Total Waterfowl 478,900 821,500 836,900 787,100 640,700

DNR 2011 Midwinter Waterfowl Survey Results – Click link for full article

 

 

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