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Outdoor Issues with Neil Roberts and Greg Gullickson 50

Lydia Hoverson
 June 25, 2022
 •
The Dakotan:
This is Outdoor Issues with Neil Roberts and North Dakota Game and Fish outreach biologist Greg Gullickson.

Neil Roberts:
Greg, your department relies a lot on research and data and surveys. And I know you recently wrapped up a long running annual spring survey. Tell us more about it.

Greg Gullickson:
Yeah, it's the Spring Breeding Duck Survey. And this year was the 75th annual Spring Duck Survey was conducted in May and it showed an index of nearly 3.4 million birds. And that's up 6% from last year. The index was the 23rd highest on record and stands 38% above that long term, 75 year average. So most individual species, if you break it down with the exception of green wing tea or gamble and pigeon and blue wing teal, they also increase mallards which is a very popular duck. We're up 58% from 20, 21 and that was the 25th highest count on record. Ruddy Duck increased 157. Most things are just looking really good out there. And it's important to note that some of our statewide increases in species may not reflect the broader scale population trends, especially for pin tails. But things are looking good and with good moisture out there and good water it means good things.

Neil Roberts:
Good stuff, Greg. And they will have more on the breeding duck survey when we come back.

The Dakotan:
You're listening to Outdoor Issues with Neil Roberts on the Dakotan Network.

Neil Roberts:
Talking the breeding duck survey today on outdoor issues. And Greg, of course you mentioned it's now in its 75th year and it's always different and I guess this is no exception right?

Greg Gullickson:
No. In the last past few years, we've been really back and forth between wet and dry conditions. And this was our second highest wetland index in the state and it's largely made up of water that will dry up fairly quickly. But those smaller ponds are important for brooding and habitat and they've rebounded nicely and provide some great food out there.

Greg Gullickson:
A lot can change between May and the hunting season. We get a few more looks from our brood counts and then our September wetland count.

Neil Roberts:
All right, good stuff, Greg. And here that brings this report to a close. Until next time, I'm Neil Roberts.

The Dakotan:
You're listening to the Dakotan Network. Real. Honest. Local news.

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