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Published:August 19th, 2007 10:58 EST
Book Says Pintail Problems Multi-dimensional

Book Says Pintail Problems Multi-dimensional

By Texas Fish and Game

Hunters across Texas rejoiced last July when officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced duck numbers for 2007 are up 14 percent from last year. Despite the rosy forecast, pintails, one of the most prized birds that migrate into Texas, are down again.

Most duck species are way up from the long time average USFWS officials use to gauge population trends. Pintails for the second consecutive year declined and are 19 percent below the long term average, " said Texas Fish & Game magazine Executive Editor and author of the newly released book Texas Waterfowl.

Moore said while conducting research for his book, the problems associated with pintails proved to be multi-dimensional: When you look at other species like gadwall that are 96 percent above the long-term average, it might seem strange that pintail are down so much. But once you study the species, you learn that they are one of the first ducks to migrate north, and that puts them at the mercy of late winter/early spring freezes.

Then you start to find out about huge problems with predation on nests and major changes in agriculture where they nest in Canada, and you see these magnificent birds have a lot stacked against them. "

In Texas Waterfowl, Moore writes extensively about issues facing pintail, as well as other troubled species like scaup and canvasback.

Things are looking really good for waterfowl overall right now, but there are issues that need to be addressed, particularly in regard to pintail, scaup, and canvasbacks, " Moore said. I think it`s important for hunters to educate themselves as much as possible about waterfowl conservation because there are going to be issues pertaining to regulations and other political factors that will force them to make some big decisions in the not-so-distant future.

I want hunters to be as informed as possible and continue to enjoy the rich, wonderful tradition of waterfowl hunting at the highest and most productive levels possible. "

Texas Waterfowl is available at Academy Sports and Outdoors, and through Texas Fish & Game magazine, 281-227-3001,