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2017 Waterfowl Report: Duck Populations Remain High

While down slightly from a year ago, the 2017 North American duck breeding numbers are still strong with the fifth highest figure ever reported

2017 Waterfowl Report: Duck Populations Remain High
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released its "2017 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations" survey. While mallard numbers are down slightly from a year ago, pintail numbers are up for the first time in five years. (Lynn Burkhead photo)

While the dog days of summer may be upon southern portions of the country, duck season isn't all that far away in the northern corners of the land.

And with that thought, good news comes today from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and its much anticipated 2017 Trends in Duck Breeding Populations report.

The yearly report, which comes after the annual May and early June waterfowl breeding duck and pond count surveys conducted by FWS and Canadian Wildlife Service biologists in the so-called "Duck Factory" of southern Canada and the Northern U.S., indicates populations this summer stand at 47.3 million breeding ducks.

Those numbers come thanks to good wetland habitat conditions in many areas this year. Total 2017 pond count estimates for the U.S. and Canada (combined) were 6.1 million according to news reports, a number that is some 22 percent above the estimate in 2016 (5.0 million) and 17 percent above the long-term average (LTA) of 5.2 million.

As you might expect, this news has biologists and duck hunters quite enthused.

Read the rest of "2017 Waterfowl Report: Duck Populations Remain High" at

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