California mallard

Published on June 29th, 2015 | by Capital Public Radio

Drought leads to 30% decline in California duck population

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The drought can be blamed for a number of problems and the latest is a major decline in the duck population. A new survey shows lack of rain has led to poor habitats.

The duck population in California’s Central Valley has dropped by 30 percent from last year.

That’s according to a survey by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which studied the ducks from Redding down to Bakersfield.

Fish and Wildlife Biologist Melanie Weaver says four years of drought have forced a steady decline in the number of ducks.

“And without those wetlands in the springtime on the flooded rice fields, they’re just not going to be able to produce the broods they have in the past with better conditions,” she says.

Weaver says even if next year is a wet one, it will still take a couple of years for the duck population to rebound.

“Even if habitat conditions improve, you are probably not going to see huge increases again just because things have reduced so much, it will take a couple of years, but it will bounce back as long as habitat conditions improve,” says Weaver.

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Capital Public Radio

Capital Public Radio is located at California State University Sacramento and features NPR news plus original programming for Northern California and Western Nevada.

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