The 2014 duck population and pond estimates from the annual USFWS Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey are now available. The full report and other information can be found at Flyways.us. The stories behind the report, including all of this Spring’s flight and ground crew logs complete with photos and videos from the sky are available here.
The estimate of 49.2 million breeding ducks was 8% higher than the 2013 estimate of 45.6 million, and 43% above the long-term (1955-2013) average, and continues a three-year trend of exceptional water conditions and population numbers for many species. The total pond estimate was 7.2 million, similar to last year’s estimate of 6.9 million and 40% above the long-term average of 5.1 million. Spring was delayed even later than 2013 across most of the survey area. Habitat conditions during the survey were mostly improved or similar to 2013 due to average to above-average annual precipitation.
A further useful summary of trend values for individual species has been provided by Ducks Unlimited.