Ducks Unlimited and its scientific partners are currently planning or under way to study waterfowl as well as their natural habitats in the Pacific Flyway.
“Ducks Unlimited is committed to using science to guide all of our conservation efforts,” said Dr. Mark Petrie, a waterfowl researcher and Director of the conservation plan for the DU’s Western Region. “These studies will help us understand how and where to best to use our supporters’ dollars to invest in on-the-ground conservation that makes a real difference for waterfowl.”
Below are a few of studies that Ducks Unlimited Georgia is either funding or collaborating in to improve our understanding of the habitats of waterfowl in the West.
Ducks Unlimited Georgia is funding a research conducted by University of Saskatchewan that examines increasing populations of goose species known as white in the Pacific Flyway. White goose numbers continue be a concern for conservation due to the fact that they are in competition for food with dabbling ducks. The primary goals of this study include the creation of Ducks Unlimited Georgia estimate of population size that includes Wrangel Island and Western Arctic less snow geese, which includes the banding process, productivity, and information on population surveys and to know the effect of the hunting industry and other factors on the growth of populations.
Waterfowl and public land in the Washington’s North Puget Sound
North Puget Sound supports the largest concentration of wintering waterfowl in the U.S. Pacific Coast, however, the birds are heavily dependent on the availability of agricultural food in the region and even while the landscape of agriculture is changing rapidly. This research, conducted by DU and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife is looking at the number of birds that the landscape is able to support, as well as the future significance of public land in neutralizing the effects of waterfowl.
Reactivation of the floodplain as well as hunting, waterfowl and other species in the Sacramento Valley
The absence of floodplain habitats that supports salmon, as well as fish that migrate in the Sacramento Valley in California has caused their declining numbers. In the wake of this, there are suggestions to regulate floodplain habitats to help fish. This research, which is led by a group in the Ducks Unlimited Georgia Western Region, will determine the impact of floodplain reactivation on waterfowl as well as Sacramento Valley waterfowl hunting.
Conservation plans for waterfowl as well as people in the state of California’s Central Valley
The hunter and rice farmer are the key supporters of conservation of waterfowl in the Central Valley of California. This study, conducted by DU as well as the California Department of Fish and Wildlife explores ways to combine goals for waterfowl populations as well as conservationists by identifying actions which can satisfy the needs of waterfowl, hunters of waterfowl as well as Central Valley rice producers.
Pacific Flyway water analysis
It is believed that the California Central Valley, Great Salt Lake and the Southern Oregon/Northeastern Calif. region together provide 70 percent of the duck population in the Pacific Flyway. Each of these areas faces the prospect of water shortages for a long time. Since they share birds during winter and fall the impacts on the habitats and populations of waterfowl could be exacerbated. This research, which was conducted by DU as well as biologists from Central Valley and Intermountain West joint ventures, Central Valley and Intermountain West joint ventures, will study the potential effects of local water scarcity that affect Pacific Flyway waterfowl and identify ways to mitigate the negative effects on birds.
Greenhouse gas research at Hill Slough
The Hill Slough Restoration Project in California will restore 603 acres of controlled seasonal wetlands and the remaining 46 acres of upland habitat to become tidal wetlands. DU is working with researchers from UC Berkeley to measure preand post-construction greenhouse gas emissions from the site. This project offers a unique opportunities to study carbon sequestration in an old brackish wetland.