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Hunter Survey Gives Insight into 2006 Duck Production

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Preliminary results from an annual survey of Mississippi Flyway duck hunters on the just completed season became available this week. The survey indicates that the preliminary age ratio (immature to adult ducks killed by hunters) was 1.38 for mallards and 1.92 for the 11 duck species combined.

“Waterfowl managers rely on age ratios to assess continental productivity of ducks, and this preliminary survey provides a relative index of the success of the previous summer's reproduction,” said Ducks Unlimited Media Relations Biologist Mike Checkett. “In general, any value above 1.0 indicates good production from the previous summer’s breeding effort.”

The Parts Collection Survey (PCS) and the “wing bees,” have been around since 1961 in the United States. Waterfowl biologists use the survey to determine the percentage of each species in the total waterfowl kill and to estimate age ratios comparing the number of young-of-the-year to adult ducks killed.

Every year, a sample of waterfowl hunters from across the U.S. are asked to send in a wing from each duck they shoot and the tail feathers and primary wing feathers of each goose taken. The results are categorized by the four flyways – Pacific, Central, Mississippi and Atlantic – where the birds were killed. At annual flyway “wing bees,” trained biologists examine nearly 100,000 wings and categorize them to species, sex and age (immature or adult). The resultant age ratios are used as one measure of annual productivity on the breeding grounds from the previous year and are factored into the setting of hunting seasons.

Thirty-two Mississippi Flyway biologists from state wildlife agencies, the FWS and universities assembled in Carbondale, Ill. on February 5-9 to read the wings. Goose researchers looked at tail feathers and the tips of the wing primaries to determine whether the goose was a juvenile or adult.

In all, the assembled biologists examined 27,646 parts; including 9,040 mallard wings and 3,827 Canada goose wings.

The Mississippi Flyway PCS data will be combined with the PCS data from the other flyways. It will also be used with other waterfowl information like the Harvest Information Program (HIP) and band recoveries to provide a variety of important management data for waterfowl management decision-making.

Wingbee Preliminary Results


Mississippi Flyway

 

 

 

Imm/Ad

 

 

 

 

 

Imm F/Ad F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

 

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mallard

0.77

1.35

1.06

1.62

1.38

 

1.43

2.54

2.24

3.11

2.70

Black duck

0.93

0.91

1.32

1.68

1.64

 

1.57

1.06

1.40

2.21

1.76

Gadwall

0.67

1.11

0.94

1.77

1.41

 

1.15

2.00

1.64

3.07

2.96

Wigeon

1.10

1.09

1.25

1.70

2.77

 

2.44

2.26

2.13

2.61

5.24

G-w teal

1.82

1.66

1.06

1.93

2.20

 

2.52

2.37

1.20

3.14

3.21

B-w teal

1.58

1.65

1.20

2.21

1.82

 

1.95

2.07

1.58

2.55

2.22

Pintail

1.58

2.13

1.13

1.20

1.40

 

2.00

6.03

2.14

2.23

3.02

Wood duck

1.69

1.59

1.54

1.24

1.63

 

2.03

2.01

1.95

1.53

1.99

Redhead

0.24

1.67

1.03

3.14

2.31

 

0.32

2.23

0.96

2.91

1.51

Canvasback

 

1.02

0.43

1.05

2.71

 

 

0.84

0.44

1.45

1.59

L Scaup

0.74

1.31

0.91

0.58

1.90

 

0.87

1.88

1.69

1.02

3.78

 

Atlantic Flyway

 

 

 

Imm/Ad

 

 

 

 

 

Imm F/Ad F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

 

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mallard

1.02

1.26

1.34

1.52

1.35

 

1.55

1.82

2.06

2.40

2.02

Black duck

1.21

1.21

0.82

1.61

1.45

 

1.93

1.55

1.03

2.39

1.95

Gadwall

0.53

1.03

0.79

1.35

1.67

 

0.74

1.85

1.40

2.17

3.06

Wigeon

1.01

0.94

0.76

0.91

1.92

 

2.45

1.16

1.40

1.76

3.16

G-w teal

2.05

1.97

1.28

1.68

2.10

 

2.41

2.12

1.41

2.45

2.95

B-w teal

1.01

1.41

0.99

1.45

1.50

 

1.57

1.94

1.26

2.72

1.90

Pintail

2.58

2.04

0.62

2.25

2.24

 

2.62

3.47

1.04

3.40

2.08

Wood duck

1.14

1.48

1.27

1.31

1.04

 

1.30

1.86

1.49

1.46

1.34

Redhead

0.10

1.27

0.34

2.22

1.59

 

0.20

2.99

0.30

2.94

1.08

Canvasback

 

0.86

0.45

1.25

3.26

 

 

1.98

1.15

4.70

1.00

L scaup

0.53

1.03

0.40

0.48

0.81

 

0.86

1.36

0.86

0.99

2.29

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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