Ducks Unlimited On Scientific Studies Aimed At Conserving Pacific Flyway Waterfowl

Really good report from Ducks Unlimited that discusses research work that should help conservation efforts for Pacific Flyway waterfowl. Here are some details:

“Ducks Unlimited is committed to using science to guide all of our conservation efforts,” said Dr. Mark Petrie, a waterfowl scientist and director of conservation planning for 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.”

And here’s some of the work DU will be doing in California:

Floodplain reactivation, waterfowl and hunting in the Sacramento Valley

The lack of floodplain habitat for salmon and other migratory fish in the Sacramento Valley in California has contributed to their decline. As a result, there are proposals to manage floodplain habitats to benefit fish. This study, led by a team in Ducks Unlimited’s Western Region, will determine the effects of floodplain reactivation for fish on waterfowl and Sacramento Valley waterfowl hunting.

Conservation planning for waterfowl and people in California’s Central Valley

Waterfowl hunters and rice farmers are critical supporters of waterfowl conservation in the Central Valley of California. This study, by DU and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, examines how to integrate objectives for waterfowl populations and conservation supporters by identifying actions that can meet the needs of waterfowl, waterfowl hunters and Central Valley rice producers.

California breeding mallards

DU is teaming up with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to capture hen mallards in northeastern California and the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys and fit them with transmitters. These marked birds will be used to better understand nest locations, nest fate and nesting efforts, as well as post breeding season movements and distribution throughout the Central Valley.

California’s drought and waterfowl distribution and habitat

During fall of 2022, waterfowl in the Central Valley of California experienced record drought. In this USGS and DU study, researchers captured mallards, pintails, white-fronted geese and snow geese and put satellite transmitters on them to determine the effects of drought on habitat use and distribution of these birds compared to normal water years.