Northeastern U.S. Forests

Level IV Ducks Unlimited conservation priority area, critical breeding habitat for American black ducks and other waterfowl species

The Northeastern U.S. Forests region is characterized by low relief, low hills and low mountains. Marshes, rivers, lakes, poorly drained depressions, moraines, eskers, out-wash plains and other glacial features compose most of the wetlands in the area. American black ducks represent an important breeding population in northeastern states, particularly Maine. Black duck populations have declined and not recovered to the goals of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. DU's current approach for black ducks is to protect large blocks of relatively undisturbed breeding habitat in the Northeastern U.S. forests. Partnerships with state and federal wildlife agencies are being expanded and new partnerships with corporate timber industry are being established to protect and enhance breeding habitat.

Importance to waterfowl

  • The region contributes significantly to black duck breeding habitat.
  • Common mergansers, common goldeneyes, wood ducks and ring-necked ducks also breed in relatively significant numbers.
  • Growth in beaver populations has provided an increase in the quantity and quality of breeding habitat for black ducks.
  • The Connecticut and Hudson rivers provide an important migration corridor for ducks and geese as they make their way down to the New York bight and the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat issues

  • Northeastern U.S. Forests mapIn the last decade, a downturn in the economy of the forests industry has led to millions of acres of timberlands being put up for sale.
  • At the same time, a strong regional economy has put much of this land at risk to land developers and prospectors interested in recreational developments.
  • Fortunately, most of this land is being protected and is going into public ownership of state wildlife management areas and national wildlife refuges.

DU's conservation focus

  • Work with partners to enhance and protect migration habitat and black duck breeding habitat.
  • Establish habitat protection, GIS planning and outreach programs with the timber industry.
  • Identify and prioritize key research and evaluation needs.

States in the Northeastern U.S. Forests region

Maine | New HampshireNew YorkMassachussetts | Vermont

More information