Ducks Unlimited and its scientific partners are planning a variety of studies or under way to study waterfowl as well as the habitat they inhabit 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 the 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 Nebraska Ducks Unlimited difference for waterfowl.”
Below are a few of studies that Ducks Unlimited is either funding or collaborating in to gain a better understanding of the habitats of waterfowl in the West.
Ducks Unlimited is funding a research conducted by University of Saskatchewan that examines the increasing numbers of goose species known as white in the Pacific Flyway. The number of white geese continues to be a concern for conservation particularly since the geese are in competition for food with dabbling ducks. Nebraska Ducks Unlimited
Waterfowl and public land in the Washington’s North Puget Sound
North Puget Sound supports the most dense population of wintering waterfowl along the U.S. Pacific Coast, but the birds are highly dependent on food sources from agriculture in the region and even while the landscape of agriculture is changing rapidly. This study, which is led by DU and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife examines the number of birds that the landscape is able to support, as well as the future significance of Nebraska Ducks Unlimited land in neutralizing the effects of waterfowl.
Reactivation of floodplains including waterfowl, hunting and floodplains 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 led to their declining numbers. This is why there are suggestions to regulate floodplain habitats to help fish. This research, conducted by a group in the Ducks Unlimited’s Western Region, will determine the impact of floodplain reactivation on waterfowl as well as Sacramento Valley waterfowl hunting.
Conservation plans for waterfowl Nebraska Ducks Unlimited people in the 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, done by DU along with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife explores ways to combine goals for waterfowl populations with 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 region together support 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 autumn the impact on populations and habitats of waterfowl could be exacerbated. This research, which was conducted by DU as well as biologists Nebraska Ducks Unlimited Central Valley and Intermountain West joint ventures, Central Valley and Intermountain West joint ventures, will look at the possible consequences of local water scarcity that affect Pacific Flyway waterfowl and identify ways to mitigate negative impacts on birds.
Greenhouse gas research at Hill Slough
The Hill Slough Restoration Project in California will restore 603 acres of controlled seasonal wetlands and an additional 46 acres of upland habitats to tidal wetlands. DU collaborates 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 the restored brackish wetland.