Dr Mark Vrtiska and colleagues at the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission recently published research in the Wildlife Society Bulletin saying that organized and licensed hunting boosts money spent on conservation.
According to Dr Vrtiska this has had a hugely beneficial impact on the birds
“The waterfowl population has passed 40 million six times since 1995. These should be glory days for duck hunting” he said.
But there are clouds on this happy horizon. Sales of duck stamps are declining, down to 1.3m in 2008, and they continuing to fall by around 30% annually.
In the good old days the number of hunters and the number of birds rose and fell in balance with each other. But no longer.
“Because the relationship appears to be broken we’ve lost a lot of funding and in turn lost a lot of habitat conservation on the ground,” Dr Vrtiska said.