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JWM study: How conservation efforts help dabbling ducks

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Habitat conservation programs in California’s Central Valley might be helping the area’s wintering ducks maintain better body conditions than they had in the past. As part of a recent study published in the Journal of Wildlife Management, researchers compared body mass of dabbling ducks shot by hunters in the Central Valley from 1979-1993 with those from 2006-2008. Their goal was to determine if the Central Valley Joint Venture conservation program that came about after the 1986 North American Waterfowl Management Plan had any influence on the ducks’ body condition. The management plan was created as a joint effort between the United States, Canada and Mexico to restore waterfowl habitat that had been lost over time to a level that is adequate to maintain healthy populations of waterfowl throughout North America. ©Robert McLandress As part of the Central Valley Joint Venture, managers restored thousands of acres of wetlands and promoted better agricultural practices such as flooding rather than burning or plowing rice stubble post-harvest. However, biologists hadn’t yet studied the impacts of these habitat improvements on waterfowl and other wetland species in the area, according to Joseph Fleskes, a wildlife research biologist at the Dixon, California Field Station of the USGS [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/jwm-study-how-conservation-efforts-help-dabbling-ducks/

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