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Banding Together for Waterfowl



Perspective from the Field: Waterfowl Research in the Duck Factory

Thick early morning fog covers the gravel road as we head towards our study plot for the day in Northwest North Dakota. This morning resembles the many mornings I have shared with friends prior to a day of duck hunting, but it is not exactly the same. I am here primarily to bolster my resume as a crew leader on a waterfowl research project for Ducks Unlimited, Inc. But it is so much more than that. I am an important part of a dedicated team of wetland conservationists.

DU Research Team in the Bakken Oil Fields Covering Ground

The DU research team looking at waterfowl productivity in the oil patch portion of the Prairie Pothole Region is now about halfway done with the first round of its pair survey. They have surveyed about 1,500 wetland basins on 30 four-square mile study plots.

Ducks Unlimited Bakken Prairie Research Begins

Ducks Unlimited techs have begun surveying duck pairs on wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) area of the Bakken oil field in northwest North Dakota and northeast Montana. The technicians aim to survey breeding pairs on 4,000 wetland basins on 62 study plots this spring.

Understanding Waterfowl: The Nesting Period

The health of waterfowl populations depends largely on the ability of the birds to successfully nest and hatch broods

Ducks Unlimited Research on the Prairies

DU researchers in the Prairie Pothole Region are focusing on how waterfowl adapt to landscape changes, and how these changes may impact breeding and brood rearing success.

Ducks Unlimited continues duck research in the Bakken

Ducks Unlimited, in collaboration with partners, will be conducting a study this summer on whether oil and gas activity in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of North Dakota is affecting waterfowl. Nearly one-third of the PPR overlaps with a geological shale formation known as the Bakken, which is currently experiencing rapid rates of oil and gas development. Despite the importance of this area to breeding waterfowl and the rapid infrastructure development, very little research is currently investigating how birds’ productivity rates are responding.

Understanding Waterfowl: Waterfowl Bands and Other Markers

Bagging a banded duck or goose is always cause for celebration, but these coveted trophies also play a vital role in waterfowl management. By John M. Coluccy, Ph.D.

Auburn’s Dr. Gary Hepp honored at 2015 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards Ceremony

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – March 13, 2015 – Ducks Unlimited announced today the winners of the 2015 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards during the 80th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference held in Omaha, Neb. This year’s recipient in the Research/Technical category is Dr. Gary Hepp, recently retired from Auburn University.

Understanding Waterfowl: Winter Weather and Waterfowl

For much of North America, the winter of 2013-2014 will not soon be forgotten, as it brought record snowfall and the coldest temperatures in at least 20 years to many locations. When duck hunters hear of extreme winter weather, they instinctively focus on how it may impact their hunting success.

State of the Ducks

A closer look at the remarkable diversity of North America's ducks and the status of their populations. Edited by Dale Humburg.

Understanding Waterfowl: Flocking Together

While most waterfowl seek isolation during the breeding season, the birds are often highly gregarious the rest of the year. By John M. Coluccy, Ph.D., and Kassondra Hendricks.

DU Scientist Wins International Canvasback Award

North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) officials recently presented Dr. Frederic (Fritz) Reid, director of conservation programs in DU's Western Region, with an International Canvasback Award in recognition of his lifelong efforts and achievements on behalf of waterfowl habitat conservation.

Breeding Grounds Survey: Time Flies By, and So Do We!

The first report filed by a FWS pilot biologist in 2014 as they prepare to begin the North American Breeding Waterfowl and Ponds Survey.

Understanding Waterfowl: Duck Salad

Judging by the title, you might assume that this column is about how to prepare a healthy duck dinner for your family and friends. But, of course, that is wild game chef Scott Leysath's department. This column is about another type of duck salad—aquatic vegetation, on which many ducks thrive.

Rice Lands Provide Vital Waterfowl Habitat

Each fall, millions of waterfowl migrate from their northern breeding grounds to historical wintering sites in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley (MAV) and along the Gulf Coast. Although the MAV once consisted largely of bottomland hardwood forests and the Gulf Coast was characterized by tall-grass prairie and shallow ponds, these regions have been transformed by agriculture and urbanization.

Dr. Johann Walker to head DU prairies program

BISMARCK, N.D. – Nov. 20, 2013 – Ducks Unlimited has named Dr. Johann Walker its director of conservation programs for North and South Dakota and Montana. Walker is recognized as one of the premier waterfowl population ecologists in the country. For the past three years, he has led the science and planning efforts for DU’s Great Plains Region by designing, collecting and analyzing the latest scientific research on waterfowl breeding ecology.

DU and University of Delaware Partner in Waterfowl Research

Researchers at Ducks Unlimited and Dr. Chris Williams of the University of Delaware (UDEL) were recently awarded a generous grant from the Black Duck Joint Venture to assess the influence of wintering habitat quality on black duck populations.

Understanding Waterfowl: Tracking the Mallard Migration

Research has provided a wealth of new information about mallard movements and habitat preferences. By Luke Naylor and Andrew Raedeke, Ph.D.

Ducks Unlimited offers breakwater prioritization web application

Ducks Unlimited is pleased to announce the availability of its Breakwater Prioritization Report and Web Mapping Application. The leader in wetlands conservation has developed a decision-support tool to prioritize shoreline protection needs along the Texas mid-coast portion of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) and encourages conservation partners and coastal landowners to utilize the newly available science to most efficiently direct wetlands restoration and protection efforts along the Gulf Coast.

Understanding Waterfowl: Seasonal Wetlands and Breeding Ducks

These small, shallow-flooded basins are vital to waterfowl production on the prairies

Dr. James D. Nichols honored at 2013 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards Ceremony

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – April 1, 2013 – Ducks Unlimited announced today the winners of the 2013 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards during the 78th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference held in Arlington, Va., at the Crystal Gateway Hyatt. This year's recipient in the Research/Technical category is Dr. James D. Nichols.

Light Goose Dilemma

Despite increased harvests, populations of these Arctic-nesting geese continue to grow

Duck symposium to convene in Memphis next week

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Jan. 25, 2013 - Waterfowl experts will be flocking to Memphis from Jan. 27-31 for the Ecology and Conservation of North American Waterfowl (ECNAW) international symposium. Memphis-based Ducks Unlimited is among the major contributors to this important conference, which aims to synthesize current knowledge of waterfowl and their habitats and help guide future science and conservation efforts.

Understanding Waterfowl: Mallards and Their Relatives

Widely distributed across North America, Asia, and Europe, the mallard is the most abundant duck in the northern hemisphere. Mallards are successful because they are adaptable, which allows them to exploit diverse habitats and resources. Mallards are also one of the most prolific breeders in the waterfowl world. In some cases, hen mallards have been observed making up to six nesting attempts in a single breeding season.

A New Plan for Waterfowl

It was 1985, and the continental duck population had fallen to its lowest level in two decades. Of even greater concern was a change in the historical relationship between wetlands and breeding ducks. Winter snowfall and spring rainfall yielded a 93 percent increase in May ponds from 1980 to1985, but duck numbers decreased by 31 percent during the same period. Up until then, pond and duck numbers had moved more or less in lockstep. It appeared that habitat loss had taken its toll, and biologists had new evidence to back the claim.

Understanding Waterfowl: Story of the Giants

A closer look at the remarkable comeback of the giant Canada goose

Understanding Waterfowl: Drought and Deluge

We can't control the weather, but conserving wetlands and grasslands on the prairies will help ensure the long-term health of duck populations

Understanding Waterfowl: The Blue-Winged Ducks

Northern shovelers and blue-winged and cinnamon teal are among the most closely related of North America's ducks

Research Seeks to Unravel Sea Duck Mystery

The 15 species of waterfowl known as sea ducks constitute 42 percent of all duck species breeding in North America. And yet sea ducks are the least understood of all waterfowl.

UC Davis' Dr. John M. Eadie honored at 2012 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - March 16, 2012 - Ducks Unlimited announced today the winners of the 2012 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards during the 77th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, held at the Hilton Atlanta. This year's winner in the Research/Technical category is Dr. John M. Eadie, professor at the University of California, Davis.

Understanding Waterfowl: The Amazing World of Macroinvertebrates

You don't have to journey to a faraway galaxy to see an amazing world inhabited by "brain-jacking" parasites and monsters with extendable lower lips that can reach out and snatch unsuspecting prey.

Understanding Waterfowl: Duck Digestion

Understanding why and when certain foods are good for waterfowl and how they are digested is an interesting and somewhat complex subject.

Conservation: Waterfowl Energy Demands

Food abundance is presumed to directly or indirectly impact the physiological condition, survival, and even reproduction of waterfowl, which ultimately influences the health of their populations. Why?

Scientific Waterfowling

Following are interviews with four preeminent waterfowl researchers. We can learn a lot from these experts, not only about how ducks react to their environment, but also how to apply this knowledge for better hunting success.

Photo Essay: Spring on the Prairies

A look at what breeding waterfowl will find as they return to the Duck Factory

Photo Essay: Nesting Habitat

Experience the images waterfowl face when they arrive on the prairies this year

Secrets to Success

DU has discovered a wealth of new information about what drives duck production on the prairies

DU Supports South Carolina Mottled Duck Project

DU and partners to conduct a study of hen mottled ducks

South Carolina Mottled Duck Research Project

South Carolina Mottled Duck Research Project, conducted by Ducks Unlimited and its partners in SC's Lowcountry region, primarily within the ACE Basin.

West Gulf Coast Mottled Duck Study: Expected Outcomes

Expected outcomes of Ducks Unlimited's West Gulf Coast Mottled Duck Study

West Gulf Coast Mottled Duck Study: Primary Investigators

Primary investigators involved in Ducks Unlimited's West Gulf Coast Mottled Duck Study

West Gulf Coast Mottled Duck Study

Overview of Ducks Unlimited's West Gulf Coast Mottled Duck Study

Florida Mottled Duck Research Project - Methods

Methods and objectives of Ducks Unlimited's Florida Mottled Duck Research Project

GLARO Research: Current Studies

Ongoing research projects in DU's Great Lakes/Atlantic Region

GLARO Research

Research projects and studies performed by Ducks Unlimited staff and partners in the Great Lakes/Atlantic Region

Saving Great Lakes Wetlands

Ducks Unlimited is working to protect vital wetlands in the Great Lakes watershed, a critical area for waterfowl in the Midwest.

Florida Mottled Duck Research Project

Overview of Ducks Unlimited's Florida Mottled Duck Research Project

A Brighter Future for Great Lakes Mallards

Ducks Unlimited researchers explore the needs of mallards in the Great Lakes and the implications they have on DU's conservation strategy.

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