Hunting > Upland & Waterfowl

Black Ducks in Peril (Page 2)

The Atlantic Flyway’s most iconic bird has dwindled to less than half its historic population. Will new research turn the tide?

Looking Ahead
Heavy concentrations of wintering birds also remain in a few crucial areas; Long Island, the Chesapeake Bay and North Carolina continue to provide excellent coastal habitat.

“We still have pretty good habitat along the New Jersey coast, too” Coluccy says. “That’s probably the most important wintering area we have in terms of black duck numbers.”

So, where we do have good habitat, we have black ducks. Go figure. And researchers are on the cusp of quantifying the effect that habitat-restoration projects—such as restoring tidal flow to grid-ditched marshes—could have on the black duck population.

“There are issues such as hybridization that are largely out of our control,” says Coluccy, “But what we can do, with the help of concerned hunters, is provide black ducks with the most quality habitat we can.” 

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