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Ducks Unlimited’s Black Duck Research Initiative brought to life on Web

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New online map allows users firsthand, interactive experience of black duck migration

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 8, 2008 – If you’re interested in taking bird watching to the next level, Ducks Unlimited has the perfect tool for you. This month, Ducks Unlimited’s Great Lakes/Atlantic Regional Office unveiled an updated version of its Black Duck Research Initiative Web site, including an all-new interactive mapping tool allowing users to “Follow the Ducks” using satellite and VHF radio tracking technology.

The American black duck population has declined by as much as 60 percent in traditional wintering areas. One explanation for this decline is the loss and degradation of quality wintering habitat. In 2004, Ducks Unlimited and its partners initiated a multi-year study to examine wintering ecology and to quantify food resources and carrying capacity for wintering and spring staging black ducks on Long Island, New York. This research was later expanded to include New Jersey and Virginia. This year, the Black Duck Research Initiative will be expanded to include the use of satellite radio transmitters with GPS technology, which will allow researchers to track birds for up to three years as they move between wintering areas in New Jersey, Virginia and Ohio, and breeding areas.

Along with general information regarding the study, the Black Duck Research Initiative Web site is home to a new interactive mapping tool that offers the opportunity to pinpoint the movements of wintering and migrating black duck hens in New Jersey, Virginia and Ohio. The map is updated regularly with the birds’ locations and, in many cases, exactly what they’re doing on a given day. To access the map, go to http://www.ducks.org/blackduckstudy and click on “Follow the Ducks.”

Clikc on Map to access.

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with almost 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - nature’s most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year. 

MEDIA RESEARCH ALERT:
• Kristin Schrader
  Public Affairs Coordinator
  734.623.2000
  kschrader@ducks.org

• Please visit the Black Duck Research Initiative Web site
  at:  http://www.ducks.org/blackduckstudy

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