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2013 Spring Habitat Conditions in Canada

Above-average habitat conditions throughout most of Canada
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SASKATCHEWAN

Spring runoff was one of the latest ever across the majority of  the province. Snow and ice dominated the landscape into late April, and subsequently delayed waterfowl migration by 10-14 days. Average April temperatures were some of the coldest on record.

The above-average snowpack and sudden increase in temperatures in early May then provided the perfect conditions for an extraordinary runoff  in most areas.

Western and central areas experienced flooding conditions, with numerous towns and municipalities declaring states of emergency with homes, farms, roads and highways under water. There are, however, a few areas of  southern Saskatchewan that went into winter with dry soil conditions and no frost seal, which allowed a lot of the runoff to be soaked up, leaving temporary and seasonal wetlands low or even dry.

However, in most of the province, all classes of wetlands are full or spilling beyond their basins. With that, breeding ducks are returning to some of the best habitat conditions in decades. Nesting has now begun (one to two weeks late), with mallard and pintail nests being discovered and numerous lone drakes being observed.

Arctic geese are still staging across their traditional areas, taking advantage of flooded fields. Canada geese are incubating nests.  Farmers are also behind schedule, with seeding just getting going in many areas, which is one to two weeks later than normal.


WATERFOWL MIGRATION ALERTS!
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