It's unclear why wigeon populations have increased in Alaska and declined in areas of Canada. Possible factors include distributional shifts on their breeding grounds, loss of habitat in the Canadian PPR, and degradation of migration and wintering habitat
. Research measuring wigeon reproductive success in different parts of their breeding range and survival rates on key migration and wintering areas could provide answers to these questions. In the meantime, Ducks Unlimited will continue its work to protect and restore wetlands that provide vital breeding, migration, and wintering habitat for wigeon and other waterfowl throughout their annual cycle.
Graham Peters is a DU biologist based in Vancouver, Washington.