Black Duck were once the most abundant species in eastern North America. Often mistaken for a female Mallard, their once hearty populations declined steeply between the 1950’s and mid-1980’s. Habitat loss and degradation along the Atlantic Coast, acid rain, and competition with introduced Mallards have been major concerns, though restrictions on hunting in the 1980s have helped to stabilize numbers in the decades since.
The Atlantic Coast Joint Venture works closely with the Black Duck Joint Venture on a variety of projects such as estimating the carrying capacity of wintering habitat based on energetic studies, setting population objectives, and evaluating effects of restoration on habitat quality. The black duck has been a focal species for the ACJV for over 25 years, and many of our habitat conservation projects through federal grant programs (e.g., NAWCA grants) benefit American Black Duck throughout their annual cycle.