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Associated Press, Published June 26 2010

More ducks breeding in North Dakota

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota wildlife officials say there are more ducks breeding in the state.

The Game and Fish Department's annual spring breeding duck survey showed an index of more than 4.5 million birds, up 12 percent from last year and 7 percent above the long-term average.

The 2010 index is the third highest on record. All species except for wigeon showed an increase from last year, and all species were above the long-term average.

The spring water index was up 5 percent from 2009 and 76 percent above the long-term average. It was the fifth highest in survey history and the highest since 1999.

Mike Johnson with Game and Fish says declining nesting cover in North Dakota could hurt duck populations in the future.