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Black Duck Joint Venture Introduction

(Taken from the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, 1995 United States Annual Report)

The Black Duck Joint Venture became a reality in 1989 with the formation of a Management Board and base level funding in both the United States and Canada. Helicopter and fixed-wing aerial breeding populations have been conducted since 1990. The fixed-wing survey was expanded in 1995 to include Maine, in addition to surveys in Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ontario, Southern Quebec, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Further expansion of the fixed-wing survey is expected over the next 3 years, with an objective of including Quebec and the Maritime Provinces. Canada will continue the helicopter survey during the expansion of the fixed-wing survey.

The breeding population data was reported for the first time in the 1995 Waterfowl Status Report, and now guides harvest management strategies in Eastern Canada, as well as the Atlantic and Mississippi Flyways. Increased use of this data will occur with the adaptation of Adaptive Harvest Management by the flyway Councils and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The banding program has been developed and enhanced to permit examination of the distribution and derivation of harvest and assessment of changes in harvest and survival rates. Banding data for the past 30 years has been examined as part of the evaluation for this Joint Venture, and improvements to this program are now being implemented.

The research program includes studies of reproductive success and competition in sympatric breeding populations of black ducks and mallards, regional waterfowl response to habitat restoration, breeding habitat characterization from multi-spectral satellite images, survival during staging and migration, and black duck-mallard interaction on Atlantic Coast winter habitats.

The Joint Venture receives funding from the Canadian Wildlife Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Atlantic and Mississippi Councils, Ducks Unlimited, Inc., and several other non-governmental organizations.

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