It Is Wet Out There!

Written by Garnet Raven
Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Photo of Garnet Raven.The Alberta ground crew has finished its portion of the survey for another year. Over the last few days we have moved from the Hanna area up through the eastern prairie parklands of Alberta. Weather did not slow us down at all and we were able to complete the survey in record time. Yesterday we completed the Cucumber air-ground northeast of Edmonton, the last of our transect segments in stratum 26.

We are now back in Edmonton, working with the data we collected and organizing maps and equipment so it will be ready for next spring. The 2013 survey provided a good glimpse into conditions throughout the prairie and parkland portions of the province. In general, habitat conditions and duck numbers in the south were average. As we moved north, moisture levels improved and so did the relative numbers of ducks we counted. Pond numbers are up about 30% over last year’s ground count. Duck numbers are very similar to last year’s ground totals, but are also up slightly. It is wet out there! Ponds are abundant and most are full. There is a lot of great looking habitat throughout central Alberta and waterfowl production should be high if the weather continues to cooperate.

Alberta ground crew out!

An over-flowing wetland observed on the Greenglade transect.

An over-flowing wetland observed on the Greenglade transect. Credit: Murray Gillespie, Ducks Unlimited Canada

An assortment of ducks on a full pond in the Alberta parklands.

An assortment of ducks on a full pond in the Alberta parklands. Credit: Murray Gillespie, Ducks Unlimited Canada

CWS summer student Marla Ives recording survey data.

CWS summer student Marla Ives recording survey data. Credit: Murray Gillespie, Ducks Unlimited Canada

This large wetland on the Greenglade transect was dry as a bone in 2010.

This large wetland on the Greenglade transect was dry as a bone in 2010. Credit: Murray Gillespie, Ducks Unlimited Canada

TA railway trestle spanning the Battle River Valley near Wainwright, AB.

A railway trestle spanning the Battle River Valley near Wainwright, AB. Credit: Murray Gillespie, Ducks Unlimited Canada