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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Monday, July 20, 2015

The Wildlife Services of both the USA and Canada are stating that this year is 40 to 50% ahead of the long term average,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,coming in at just below 50 million...........Claiming that inspite of erratic weather associated with climate change, "all the stars aligned in 2014 with water in all the right places and at the right times"......Yet, the North Dakota Game commission found in their 2014 study that their duck population was down 25 from 2013.........So, who do we trust to be revealing the true skinny on our "winged flyers"?

Check out this article

OUTDOORS NOTEBOOK: Survey again shows record duck numbers acros North America


BISMARCK — North America's spring duck population is at a record high, but returning birds initially found a lower pond count in key areas of the breeding grounds, according to the 2015 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey released earlier this month.

The survey marks the highest estimates ever recorded for mallards and green-winged teal. Mallards increased 7 percent to 11.64 million, 51 percent above the long-term average. Green-winged teal populations grew by 19 percent to 4.08 million, 98 percent above the long-term average.
"This year's population estimates are not due to great conditions this year, but high because of several consecutive years of great production," Frank Rohwer, president of Delta Waterfowl, said in a statement. "All the stars aligned in 2014: There was water in all the right places and at all the right times. Despite the declining pond conditions, the data indicates great population carryover from the last few highly successful breeding seasons."

Prairie pothole region of the great plains

In North Dakota, a separate survey conducted by the Game and Fish Department tallied a duck index of 3.6 million birds in the state, down 25 percent from last year, primarily due to weather conditions that resulted in an early migration.
Mike Szymanski, migratory bird supervisor for Game and Fish in Bismarck, said the spring migration was well ahead of normal because of open fields and warm temperatures.
"Early migrants such as mallards, pintails and northern shovelers didn't stay long due to the dry conditions," Szymanski said.
While the spring water index showed a decrease of 47 percent from 2014, Szymanski said frequent rains in the weeks after the survey have filled many wetlands and ditches.
Survey results indicated all species decreased from their 2014 estimates, except ruddy ducks (up 20.6 percent) and green-winged teal (up 11.5 percent), while wigeon remained unchanged at record numbers. Mallards were down 17.3 percent, shovelers down 48.7 percent, pintails down 43.6 percent and blue-winged teal down 29.3 percent. However, all species, with the exception of pintails, were above the long-term average (1948-2014).
"The large number of ducks tallied during our survey is still 55 percent above the long-term average and is consistent with the well-above-average populations we have been carrying for more than a decade," Szymanski said.
He said the July brood survey will provide a better idea of duck production and insight into expectations for this fall.

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