Release Date: 11/08/2005

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) recognized the winning Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) wood duck banding region at their Nov. 3 meeting.

Robert Helm, LDWF waterfowl study leader, presented Region 7 wildlife biologists Randy Myers and Mike Perot with the annual trophy acknowledging that Region 7 had banded more wood ducks than any other of the state's seven regions as part of an inter-departmental competition.

Region 7, which includes the Florida parishes, and is headquartered in Baton Rouge, banded over 400 wood ducks this year.  This was the first time Region 7 won the award that started in 2003.  Region 6 was last years recipient.

The award was developed three years ago to help combat the previous run of poor results due to droughts by introducing a competitive spirit among the regions, Helm said.  This annual award shows appreciation for the hard work of the banding crew in the winning region and to help promote the program.

The department banded over 1,700 wood ducks this year, which is about a hundred more than 2004 and the most since 1999.  Furthermore, five of the seven regions banded over 200 wood ducks, which provided a good distribution across the state.

Every region did an outstanding job when you take into account that the hurricanes made it hard to band ducks in September, which is usually our best month, Helm said.  There is already talk of wait until next year between the regions, and Ive had to order more bands and cannon nets.  

Banding provides essential information used to calculate the population status and distribution patterns of this native waterfowl species. Due to their use of wooded swamps and sloughs, wood duck populations are very difficult to monitor using traditional survey techniques, making banding the most important management tool.

EDITORS: For more information, contact Robert Helm at 225-765-2358 or rhelm@wlf.louisiana.gov.