Everglades Restoration Impact on Ducks and Other Waterfowl

duckTwenty to 40 years ago, there were plenty of ducks and other waterfowl swimming around the Everglades, and hunters would go hunting. But these days, not as many ducks show up as they once used to in the past.

Migratory ducks have been coming to the Everglades in lower number in recent years. It is believe that weather trends and the Everglades’ current ecosystem is why their numbers have dropped. Many of these ducks don’t migrate as far as they used to. There is also less habitat for these ducks to settle in due to farming and housing developments.

Lake Okeechobee used to be a big spot for ducks, but the low water levels and the algae blooms have kept the ducks away. The algae blooms kill aquatic vegetation that the ducks eat, which reduces ducks’ food sources. Phosphorous has also ended up in the Everglades from fertilizer from yard and farms which help feed the algae blooms and red tide, which has killed about 367 tons of marine life in the Gulf.

However, current restoration efforts to bring the waterflow back to its original state has seen positive results for bringing ducks back to the Everglades. For example: the Kissimmee River restoration project has allowed the natural river channel to be restored so water overflows the banks. Pre-restoration there was about one bird per four square kilometers and now there is about 40 birds per square kilometer.
The Central Everglades Project, which will restore habitat of 10,000 acres of degraded wetlands south of Lake Okeechobee, is said to help bring ducks back. Part of this project included the Everglades Agricultural Area Reservoir, which is a 240,000-acre-foot holding tank similar to other stormwater treatment areas in the Park. These treatment areas are known to be good places to hunt ducks because they are filled with aquatic vegetation.

With more and more spots restoring to natural flows, the response has been positive for ducks and other waterfowl to return.

If you’re a fan of ducks or other birds, you can catch a glimpse of them on an airboat tour. Jump on an Everglades airboat tour for a chance to see ducks and other beautiful wildlife. An airboat ride is the best way to get around the Everglades.

For a private, guided tour through Everglades, book an airboat tour with Captain Mitch’s Airboat Tours.

To book an airboat ride, call  800-368-0065  or visit our Private Everglades Airboat Tours page. We are open seven days a week 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. If paying by cash, adults cost $40 (plus tax) and children 12 and under cost $20 (plus tax. If paying by credit card, adults cost $45 (plus tax) and children cost $25 (plus tax).