Decline of northern pintails

Edited by: Edward T. LaRoeGaye S. FarrisCatherine E. PuckettPeter D. Doran, and Michael J. Mac



The size of the continental breeding population of northern pintail (Anas acuta) has greatly varied since 1955, with numbers in surveyed areas ranging from a high of 9.9 million to a low of 1.8 million in 1991. This variation results primarily from differences in the numbers of breeding pintails in the prairie region of Canada and the United States; these numbers ranged from 8.6 million in 1956 to 0.5 million in 1991; numbers in the northern regions from Alaska to northern Alberta and northern Manitoba varied primarily between 1 and 2 million.

Breeding pintails prefer seasonal shallow-water habitats without tall emergent aquatic vegetation (Smith 1968). The proportions and distribution of breeding pintails on the prairies vary annually depending on the amount of annual precipitation and the resulting increase or decrease in the availability of suitable breeding habitat (Smith 1970; Johnson and Grier 1988).

Changes in the size of the continental pintail population result from changes in production, survival, or both. Consequently, understanding population changes involves detecting variation in survival and production over time and relating that variation to changes in population size. Once the cause of the decline is determined, appropriate management strategies can be developed to reverse it.

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Decline of northern pintails
Year Published 1995
Language English
Publisher National Biological Service
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Description 2 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Bibliography
Larger Work Title Our living resources: A report to the nation on the distribution, abundance, and health of U.S. plants, animals, and ecosystems
First page 38
Last page 39
Other Geospatial North America
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details