ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Spring waterfowl surveys find Minnesota’s breeding mallard numbers are down from last year while other species saw increases.
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, this year’s mallard breeding population is estimated at 206,000. That’s 20 percent below last year’s estimate of 257,000 breeding mallards and 17 percent below the recent 10-year average.
The blue-winged teal population is estimated at 169,000 this year, which is 66 percent above the 2014 estimate of 102,000. But the blue-winged teal population remains 21 percent below the long-term average of 212,000 measured since 1968.
The combined population of other ducks, such as ring-necked ducks, wood ducks and canvasbacks, was 149,000, which is 29 percent higher than last year and 16 percent below the long-term average.