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U S Fish and Wildlife Service
Waterfowl Population Surveys. Fifty Years and Still Counting
team of pilot biologists pose with small prop plane used for surveys


Thirteen Fish and Wildlife Service pilot-biologists gather at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport in Martinsburg to mark the 50th anniversary of the Waterfowl Population Survey.
(Click on image for larger view.)
Photo by Todd Harless/USFWS

Every spring and summer for the past 50 years, teams of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pilot-biologists have taken to the skies to survey North America’s waterfowl breeding grounds.

Flying more than 80,000 miles, crisscrossing the country just above the treetops, they and observers on the ground record the number of ducks, geese and swans, and assess the quality and quantity of waterfowl breeding habitats. From the wide-open bays and wetlands of the eastern shores of North America to some of the most remote regions of Canada and Alaska, they are documenting an important part of our wild heritage.

For more information

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