Texas Fish & Game Mottled Duck Project Gets a Boost

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The second annual Texas Duck Tour pairing Texas Fish & Game (TF&G) magazine and Ducks Unlimited (DU) has concluded and enabled both organizations to reach key conservation awareness goals. The highlight occurred opening day on Two Bayous Hunting Club near Angleton, when the tour met head on with another TF&G DU collaboration: The Mottled Duck Initiative.

"We took a banded mottled duck on the first day of the tour, which will be covering five locations in five days to raise awareness to waterfowl habitat needs. Considering that we have been collaborating to help the mottled duck it was very serendipitous. We can't wait to find out where that bird came from," said Tim Soderquist DU regional director.

TF&G Executive Editor Chester Moore had the idea to distribute posters asking hunters to turn in mottled duck band information after talking with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department officials and so far along with DU have made them visible to thousands of hunters.

"I learned they need more data on mottled ducks and that the species has been in decline for quite some time. A lot of hunters don't turn in band information because they know many are banded on local refuges but it is very important to their management so if you shoot a banded mottled duck or any other species please turn the data in," Moore said.

Moore noted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Migratory Bird Management and U.S. Geological Survey have done an awesome job collecting information on waterfowl and they along with TPWD should be commended on their work.

"Banding information in general is very important and gives us great incite into the mysteries of migration. Plus, who wouldn't want to know where the bird they shot came from?"

The first stop of the Duck Tour also brought into focus the need for habitat restoration.

"We hunted with Steve Parker of Two Bayous Hunting Club who has done a marvelous job of managing that property. We hunted what used to be a solid Chinese tallow flat that was worthless to ducks but had been reclaimed in the name of waterfowl conservation. Without that kind of ethic and the work of groups like DU, our resource would be in very serious peril and our hunting heritage would be on life support."

"Conservation requires action and we need to step it up going into 2009 with the many threats facing the ducks we so love. Texas Fish & Game magazine is by far the leader in waterfowl conservation in the publishing world. This year we added a new section called 'True Green' that is all conservation but not the kind you hear about on the six o'clock news. This is the real deal with groups like DU and others featured for their worthy conservation practices."

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