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MAZINAIGANPAGE8FALL2014TrumpeterTundraSwansTrumpeterSwanLength64in.Weight28lbs.TrumpeterswansarethelargestbirdsnativetoNorthAmerica.Thenon-nativemuteswanisnearlyaslargebuthasadistinctiveorangeknobonthetopofthebillwhichmakesidentificationeasy.Trumpeterswanshavealargestoutblackbill.Largemaletrumpeterscanhaveawingspanofnearlytenfeet.Trumpetersfeedmostlyonaquaticplantsalthoughinwintertheymayforageonwastegrainandgrassesinfarmfields.TundraSwanLength59in.Weight16lbs.TruetotheirnametundraswansbreedintheArcticandsubarctictundra.ThisspeciesissometimessplitintotwosubspeciesBewicksswanandwhis-tlingswan.Bothareallwhitewithvariable-sizedyellowpatchesonthebaseofthebill.Theyeatmostlyaquaticvegetationalthoughinsomeareastheymayfeedheavilyonwastegrainandotherlandplants.WATERFOWLLargeWaterBirdsAnIdenticationGuideWhoopingCraneadultWhoopingCranejuvenileSandhillCraneWhitePelicanSwanHeronandEgretSnowGooseTolearnmoreaboutcranesandwetlandsvisitwww.bringbackthecranes.org654321123456FlieswithneckstraightBlackwingtipsRedmaskRedcrownBrownorgraybodyWhitewingsandbodyIDbandsonlegsMayhaveIDbandonneckShortlegsFlieswithneckbentBlackwingtipsShortlegsLongorangebillBlackmid-wingandwingtipsBrownandwhitebodyPanelandillustrationsdevelopedbytheInternationalCraneFoundationwww.savingcranes.orgLonglegsLonglegsOdanahWis.WhileregulationchangeshavenotyetbeenfinalizedbyfederallawtheU.S.FishandWildlifeServicesUSFWSproposalforanearlystatetealseasonislikelytobeapprovedforblueandgreenwingedtealinMichiganandWisconsin.Thismaybringwildriceharvestersandstatetealhuntersintothesameareasnearthepeakofthericingseason.ScheduledtoopenSeptember1throughSeptember7thisstatehuntispartofathree-yearexperimentsaysGLIFWCWildlifeBiologistPeterDavidinwhichbothMichiganandWisconsinintendtotakepart.TheUSFWSdeterminedgrowthinthecontinentaltealpopulationwarrantsexpandedopportunitiesforhunters.WhileearlyseasonsarealreadyinplaceinsouthernstatesthiswillbeafirstopportunityinnorthernbreedingstateslikeMichiganandWisconsin.Minnesotaoptednottopursuethisopportunityin2014.Severalconcernscomewiththeearlyseasoninthesestatesincludingthepotentialforconfusingtealnotyetinfullplumagewithwoodducksandmallards.Managersplantomanspyblindsduringtheseasonsasameansofgatheringdataontheharvestofnon-targetspecies.Iftoomanynon-targetducksareharvestedduetomistakenidentitymanagersmayneedtorethinktheseasonDavidsays.Anotherconcernabouttheearlyseasonispotentialconflictwithricersandinterruptioninricebeds.Soitisbesttobeawareandcautious.Davidalsomentionsthatduckboatsaremorelikelytocausedamageinricebedsthantheslimcanoesusedbyriceharvesters.WeencouragericerstobelookingforhuntersandhunterstowatchoutforricersduringthisseasonDavidsays.Hopefullytheproblemswillbefew.ProposedswanseasonThetribesmayhavetheirfirstopportunitytohuntswanthisfallunderaseasonproposalthathasbeensubmittedtotheUSFWS.TheseasonproposedtobeginNovember1isdesignedtotargettundraswanswhileminimizingimpactontrumpeterpopulationsbuthasnotbeenapprovedasofyet.Thecededterritorieshoststwospeciesofnativeswansthetrumpeterandtundraswans.Thelessabundanttrumpeterswanwhichbreedslocallyisdifficulttotellapartfromthemoreabundantmigranttundraswan.Forthisreasonswanharvestwillbemoni-toredandallswansharvestedmustberegisteredduringthetreatyseason.Thedailybaglimitistwobutiftentrumpeterswansaretakentheseasonwillbeclosed.Byclosingtheseasonwhententrumpetersareharvestedsomeoppor-tunityforswanharvestisofferedwhilecontinuingtoprotectthetrumpeterpopulation.Settingtheseasonlaterintheyearwillallowformoretundraswanstomigrateintotheregionspopulationwhichwillhelpmitigatetheimpactonthetrumpeters.Iftheproposedseasonisnotapprovedtherewillbenotreatyswanseasonin2014.NewstatetealseasonmayimpactricersUSFWSreportshowshealthywaterfowlpopulationsThepreliminaryestimateforthetotalduckpopulationis49.2millionbirdsaneightpercentincreaseoverlastyearsestimateof45.6millionbirdsand43percentabovethelong-termaverage.ThereportprovidesabundanceestimatesforindividualduckspeciesincludingthefollowingEstimatedmallardabundanceis10.9millionbirdssimilartolastyearsestimateof10.4millionbirdsand42percentabovethelong-termaverage.Blue-wingedtealestimatedabundanceis8.5millionwhichis10percentabovethe2013estimateof7.7millionand75percentabovethelong-termaverage.Thenorthernpintailestimateof3.2millionwassimilartolastyearsesti-mateof3.3millionandremains20percentbelowthelong-termaverage.Americanwigeonwere18percentabovethe2013estimateand20percentabovethelong-termaverage.Thecombinedlesserandgreaterscaupestimateof4.6millionwassimilarto2013and8percentbelowthelong-termaverageof5million.Thecanvasbackestimateof685000wasslightlylowerthanthe2013estimateof787000but18percentabovethelong-termaverage.Habitatconditionsassessedduringthesurveyweremostlyimprovedorsimilartolastyearasaresultofaveragetoabove-averageannualprecipitation.The2014WaterfowlBreedingPopulationandHabitatSurveyconductedbytheU.S.FishandWildlifeServiceandCanadianWildlifeServiceencompassesmorethan2millionsquaremilesofwaterfowlhabitatacrossAlaskanorth-centralandnortheasternUnitedStatesandsouth-centraleasternandnorthernCanada.TheannualWaterfowlBreedingPopulationandHabitatSurveyguidestheSer-viceswaterfowlconservationprogramsunderauthorityofthe1918MigratoryBirdTreatyAct.WaterfowlpopulationsurveysandmonitoringprogramsarecriticalcomponentsofsuccessfulwaterfowlmanagementandareflectionoftheServicescommitmenttogeneratinghigh-qualityscientificdatatoinformcon-servationplanning.USFWSMigratoryBirdProgramreleaseontheTrendsinDuckBreedingPopulations2014www.fws.govmigratorybirdsBySueEricksonStaffWriter