Pilot Biologists Begin 2010 Survey

May Waterfowl survey begins. Photo by Garnet Raven (CWS).

May Waterfowl survey begins. Photo by Garnet Raven (CWS).

In early May, the first of 12 air crews and associated ground crews took off to conduct the annual Breeding Population and Habitat Survey across Canada and the northern United States. Go to the Pilot Biologist Reports to read personal accounts and see pictures of current habitat conditions from the pilot biologists and ground crews conducting the survey. Each year, air crews (a pilot biologist and an observer) fly fixed-wing aircraft at low altitude (150 ft) over transect lines through waterfowl habitat areas. Over 55,000 miles of transects are flown every year. That’s like counting ducks in a single line over two times around the world!

This survey is a cooperative effort of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Canadian Wildlife Service, and state, provincial, and tribal agencies. It currently covers more than 2.1 million square miles of the northern United States and Canada, and includes most of the primary duck nesting areas in North America.

Pilot biologists gathered at a pre-survey planning meeting.  Front row (left to right):  Ed Mallek, Fred Roetker, Jim Wortham, Sheldon Mixon, Thom Lewis and Mark Koneff. Back row (left to right): Phil Thorpe, John Bidwell, Jim Bredy, Walt Rhodes, Terry Liddick and John Solberg. Missing: Karen Bollinger, Brian Lubinski, Kevin Fox.

Pilot biologists gathered at a pre-survey planning meeting. Front row (left to right): Ed Mallek, Fred Roetker, Jim Wortham, Sheldon Mixon, Thom Lewis and Mark Koneff.
Back row (left to right): Phil Thorpe, John Bidwell, Jim Bredy, Walt Rhodes, Terry Liddick and John Solberg.
Missing: Karen Bollinger, Brian Lubinski, Kevin Fox.