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 COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife recently released results of the state's winter waterfowl and goose surveys. The mid-December goose survey recorded the highest number of geese on record, and the mid-winter waterfowl survey recorded the second highest number on record.
 According to Gildo Tori, supervisor of the Crane Creek Wildlife Research Station at Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, the numbers of geese and waterfowl observed this year were high during each of the week-long surveys because of the mild winter.
 Survey crews observed 85,469 geese during the mid-December goose survey. Most of the geese observed were Canada geese (85,379). Other geese observed during the survey included snow geese, blue geese and a few white-fronted geese.
 Trumbull County had the highest number of geese with 8,151. Sandusky and Mercer counties each had between 5,000 and 6,000 geese. Between 3,000 and 4,000 geese were recorded in Cuyahoga, Ottawa, Summit and Lucus counties.
 A total of 224,000 waterfowl were seen during the mid-winter waterfowl survey conducted the first full week of January. Only in 1972 were more waterfowl recorded, and this year's total was only 600 less birds than recorded in 1972.
 In the mid-winter waterfowl survey, the species with the highest numbers statewide were mergansers with 46,840 recorded, mallards with 40,014 recorded, black ducks with 34,171 recorded and Canada geese with 27,048 recorded.
 "The annual totals are very weather-dependent," said Tori. "In warmer winters, birds tend to stay farther north. Many of the species observed in Ohio this year would normally be farther south."
 The most dramatic example of warmer temperatures keeping waterfowl in Ohio was observed in the number of mergansers seen during the survey period. Last year, 2,600 mergansers were recorded, which was relatively normal, according to Tori. This year, 47,000 mergansers were seen during the survey, mostly along the Maumee River and in the Lake Erie marshes.
 On the other hand, this year's warm winter temperatures kept several species such as the common goldeneye farther north than Ohio, making Ohio's count lower than normal. Other species observed during the survey include pintails, redheads, canvasbacks, scaup, ring-necked ducks, bufflehead, snow geese and Tundra swan.
 The mid-December goose survey and mid-winter waterfowl survey are conducted across the entire continent and coordinated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
 "These annual surveys are just one of many methods used by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish waterfowl population estimates and conditions, and determine waterfowl hunting regulations. Other surveys include breeding surveys conducted in the spring, brood surveys, pond indexes in prairie regions, waterfowl band recovery and analysis and surveys conducted with selected hunters who send in wing tail feathers to establish age ratios.
 -0- 2/18/93
 /CONTACT: Gildo Tori of the Division of Wildlife, 419-898-0960; or Mary Hayes of the Department of Natural Resources, 614-265-6886/

CO: Ohio Department of Natural Resources ST: Ohio IN: SU:

KK -- CL004 -- 7698 02/18/93 08:53 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 18, 1993

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