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American Black Duck Conservation

American Black Duck 

American Black DuckThe American black duck’s (Anas rubripes) stronghold is in the coastal estuaries and tidal waters of the mid-Atlantic region, from New York to Virginia. Populations declined by more than 50 percent between the 1950s and 1980s due to loss of coastal habitats. NRCS is now working with local, state and federal partners to reverse this decline by reducing threats to critical habitat. NRCS is now working with local, state and federal partners to reverse this decline by reducing threats to critical habitat.

NRCS and the Black Duck

The black duck is a state-identified target species of the Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) partnership, a collaborative approach to conserve habitat on working lands. NRCS will provide technical and financial assistance through a new WLFW project launched in fiscal year 2017.

Eligible agricultural producers in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey can receive help with implementing a variety of conservation practices to restore black duck wintering habitat in the mid-Atlantic region’s Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. 

Areas of eligibility are depicted on the map on this page. Click on the image of the map to download a PDF of the map (2.1 MB).

Black duck habitat will be restored and enhanced through installation of conservation practices and protection of habitat through easements. Participating states will focus on developing habitat and controlling invasive species. Available practices aim to protect, restore and create emergent wetland and forested wetland habitat, manage invasive plants, and combat habitat loss because of development, pollution and wetland conversion

ActionsMap of American Black Duck WLFW area in NJ

  • Protect, maintain, and restore habitat.
  • Restore converted wetlands in cropland and woodland.
  • Restore the natural flow of streams and floodplain.
  • Restore and manage riparian buffers.
  • Restore native wetland vegetation.
  • Control invasive plant species.
  • Restore tidal marsh hydrology.

Available Practices

  • Brush Management
  • Conservation Cover
  • Critical Area Planting
  • Herbaceous Weed Control
  • Mulching
  • Prescribed Burning
  • Restoration and Management of Rare and Declining Habitats
  • Riparian Forested Buffer
  • Riparian Herbaceous Cover
  • Shallow Water Development/Management
  • Structure for Water Control
  • Tree/ Shrub Establishment
  • Upland Wildlife Habitat Management
  • Wetland Enhancement
  • Wetland Restoration
  • Wetland Wildlife Habitat Management

To learn more, please contact your local USDA service center.

  • Ocean County and Burlington County, call NRCS at the Columbus Service Center 609-267-1639, ext. 3
  • Salem County, call NRCS at the Woodstown Service Center 856-769-1126
  • Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland Counties, call NRCS at the Vineland Service Center 856-205-1225,  ext. 3

Back to Working Lands for Wildlife page


updated March 21, 2018