2000 Waterfowl Forecast & Facts
The Forecast

Although waterfowl numbers are slightly down from last year's record highs, another impressive fall flight is expected this year.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the total breeding duck population estimate in the traditional survey area was 41.8 million birds, just 4 percent below last year's record of 43.4 million. Thanks to several consecutive years of above-normal precipitation across the Prairie Pothole Region and the success of conservation program supported by Ducks Unlimited and its partners, today's waterfowlers have enjoyed the longest period of high duck populations since the 1950s.


• Utilizing radar, biologists have determined that waterfowl migrating at night between cloud layers maintain proper orientation despite a lack of visual ground or celestial cues.

• USFWS pilot-biologists annually fly more than 65,000 air miles while conducting waterfowl breeding population surveys in the U.S. and Canada.

• In North and South Dakota, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service surveyed a record 11.4 million breeding ducks this spring.

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