The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and state biologists have counted waterfowl that winter on the Bay since 1938. The Chesapeake Bay Program established a goal of restoring waterfowl populations to 1970 levels by the year 2000. Many duck populations have reached or surpassed that goal, but several species remain of concern.

Resident populations of mallards, Canada geese and mute swans are rapidly growing and causing problems in the Chesapeake Bay region.

Mute swans are a beautiful, but non- native species whose increasing year-round populations are harming the Bay ecosystem by consuming limited food resources such as Bay grasses.

Expanding numbers of resident mallards are competing with local black ducks for breeding areas.

Nonmigratory Canada geese are causing conflicts at beaches, ponds and golf courses where bacteria from feces contaminate swimming areas or foul walkways.

Increasing snow geese populations are destroying their tundra breeding grounds by eating all the vegetation and causing erosion. Huge flocks of migrating snow geese are capable of quickly destroying large areas of marsh or agricultural crops.

Chesapeake Waterfowl .......% Change Since Mid-'70s

American Wigeon ...................+93
Black Duck........................ -26
|Brant ............................+546
Bufflehead........................ +73
Canada Goose (migratory) ..........-46
Canvasback .........................+5
Common Goldeneye.................. -22
Gadwall ..........................+975
Green-Winged Teal ................+626
Mallard (migratory) ...............+14
Merganser ........................+420
Northern Pintail ..................+63
Northern Shoveler .................+44
Oldsquaw ..........................-27
Redhead........................... -64
Ring-Necked Duck .................+233
Ruddy Duck .......................+265
Scaup ..............................+9
Scoters........................... -60
Tundra Swan....................... -30

Problem Species

Snow Goose ..........+3,447
Mallard (resident).............. +500*
Canada Goose (resident) .......+1,500*
Mute Swan .....................+7,300

* or more