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I would like to see a statistical comparison between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s ‘‘Trends in Duck Breeding Populations’’ and hunter success later that year. It doesn’t feel like a direct correlation, especially for Illinois waterfowlers.
The 2013 ‘‘Trends’’ shows numbers down from the rosy 2012 report. Total populations were estimated at 45.6 million breeding ducks, a 6 percent decrease from last year.
Roughly the same were mallards, gadwall, northern shoveler, northern pintail, redhead and canvasback. Three species were down substantially: scaup (-20 percent), blue-winged teal (-16 percent) and green-winged teal (-12 percent). One was up substantially: American wigeon (+23 percent).