Fall in Alaska, and ducks and geese are on the move. About 20 percent of all North American waterfowl - at least 34 different species - spend the summer nesting season in Alaska. Seven million ducks summer in Alaska, including half of North America's pintails, and 80 percent of the world population of Pacific black brant. More than a million geese spend the summer nesting season in Alaska.
Alaska supports the entire U.S. breeding populations of several species of seaducks including spectacled, king, and Steller's eiders; as well as long-tailed ducks; and all three species of scoters - black, white-winged, and surf scoters, and many of these also winter in coastal Alaska. 20,000 trumpeter swans, 70,000 sandhill cranes, and 120,000 tundra swans and summer in Alaska.
Because waterfowl migrate across state and international boundaries, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Waterfowl Program collaborates with other state and federal agencies, in particular the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in management of waterfowl.
Alaska's waterfowl biologists have studied scoters, sandhill cranes, dusky Canada geese, harlequin ducks and Steller's eiders. Biologists are continuing to monitor the recovery of harlequin ducks in Prince William Sound following the Exxon Valdez oil spill. And banding projects are helping biologist monitor birds and better understand the different populations and the distribution of migratory waterfowl throughout the Pacific flyway.