Why is Delta Waterfowl studying ringnecks? We simply don’t know much about them.
Delta’s ring-necked duck project is groundbreaking for several reasons. First, ringnecks have been studied far less than any other duck in the top 10 most-harvested species. Second, ringnecks are doing well — both expanding in numbers and in their geographic range. This may be one of the first times that waterfowl researchers are studying a duck on the upswing. We usually focus our research on species in decline, which means we are constantly in crisis management. Third, this is the first time any research team has implanted transmitters in ringnecks to track their movements. The lack of extensive banding data for ringnecks means we know little about migration routes or breeding destinations for this species, although they are an important duck for hunters. Ringnecks are the only diving duck species in the Top 10 of U.S. hunter harvest, and they rank third in the Atlantic Flyway.
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