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American Black Duck Partner Workspace

Distribution of the American Black Duck
Distribution of the American Black Duck. This species breeds locally South to the dashed line.
The American black duck (Anas rubripes) is an iconic species of East coast marshes from NewYork to Virginia. The loss of coastal habitats because of development, pollution and wetland conversion has contributed to the decline of black ducks. Between the 1950s and 1980s, black duck populations declined by more than 50 percent.

The Mid-Atlantic region supports the largest populations of North America’s wintering black ducks, and protecting and restoring habitat in the region is critical to the long-term sustainability of the waterfowl species. To help reverse black duck declines, NRCS is working with private landowners in the Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay watersheds to increase available high-quality habitat to support the species’ recovery.

Landowners in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia are helping the black duck by restoring and protecting wetland ecosystems. With the help of NRCS, landowners are making wildlife improvements to working lands and protecting lands not suitable for farming with conservation easements. Through conservation practices, landowners are restoring tidal and floodplain wetlands, as well as managing healthy riparian areas and streams.  Conversion of unproductive fields experiencing saltwater intrusion in order to create salt marsh habitat is a particular focus of this effort.

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