Gulf Coast Facts & Figures

  • The Gulf Coast is one of DU's five highest-priority conservation areas in North America and a mainstay for wintering waterfowl, supporting more than 13 million ducks & geese in some years.
  • While the potential exists for the oil spill to have both short- and long-term consequences for habitat, waterfowl and other wildlife on the Gulf Coast, DU's focus remains on the long-term loss of Louisiana coastal marshes that has been underway for decades and threatens this vital ecosystem.
  • If the spill continues for additional weeks or months, numerous shorebirds, waterfowl and other wetland wildlife will be at serious risk.
  • The earliest fall migrants (several species of shorebirds) are expected to arrive on the Gulf Coast in mid-July, and the earliest waterfowl migrants (adult male blue-winged teal) will arrive in mid-August.
  • DU will monitor any long-term effects of the oil spill on these wintering grounds for millions of migratory waterfowl.
  • Important wintering waterfowl species include gadwall, green-winged teal, northern pintails, American wigeon, northern shovelers, mallards, blue-winged teal, lesser scaup, canvasbacks and redheads. More about these waterfowl species >>
  • Locally breeding mottled duck populations using fresh and intermediate salinity marshes may also be affected, but it is too early to tell if these birds will be impacted.

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