State waterfowl total declines, survey shows

March 03, 1996|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

The Midwinter Waterfowl Survey in Maryland this year showed a decrease in total number of waterfowl observed by personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Natural Resources, but also revealed an increase in the number of Canada geese wintering in the state.

According to DNR, Canada geese increased from 259,200 last year to 295,000 this January. However, biologists said that count includes an undetermined number of non-migratory birds forced south from other states by deep snow and cold weather.

The total number of waterfowl observed was 554,800, down from 651,300 last year. Snow geese were off to 45,900 from 124,000 last year. Diving ducks declined from 156,300 to 120,800, although canvasbacks were up to 50,500, after running between 25,000 and 40,000 earlier this decade.

Puddle ducks were off as well with 60,200 counted, compared to 72,900 last year. Black ducks' numbers were up with 22,300, compared to 20,800 last year.

New fisheries director

Dorothy L. Leonard, program manager of the National Shellfish Register for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has been named fisheries director for the

Department of Natural Resources, effective March 11.

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