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Associated Press, Published July 10 2009

Breeding duck population takes a dive in Minnesota

ST. PAUL – The Department of Natural Resources says Minnesota’s breeding duck population has dropped to an estimated 507,000 birds.

That’s down 31 percent from last year and 19 percent below the long-term average of 626,000.

Dennis Simon is the DNR’s wildlife chief. He says the goal is to build a breeding population of

1 million birds.

The key is more and better wetlands and grasslands. The DNR’s Duck Recovery Plan says 2 million acres of additional habitat need to be restored to achieve the 1 million-bird breeding population goal.

This year’s estimate of 285,000 Canada geese remains similar to last year’s estimate of 289,000, and remains above the Department of Natural Resources’ goal.

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