Mallard Migration Observation Network
Every week, over 100 biologists, wildlife managers, and other experts in the Mississippi Flyway rank the progress of the mallard migration in their respective areas. The Missouri Department of Conservation compiles this data to create maps showing the progression of mallard migration over time.
The rank is on a scale of 1 to 10 and they do not depict mallard abundance; they indicate the relative progression of the fall migration. Estimated peak numbers of mallards may be lower or higher than average numbers during previous years due to annual variations in local wetland and environmental conditions. As a result, a dark color does not necessarily mean there are a lot of mallards in that region. These maps depict real time estimates without the benefit of waiting until the completion of migration before providing assessments. Revised maps will be posted in February. Some variation in results may also occur depending on the number of participants reporting for a given week.
The Mallard Migration Observation Network was established as part of a broader project to use GPS satellite telemetry to better understand mallard movements, distribution, and habitat use. The rankings provided by participants this fall will be compared with the locations of mallards marked with GPS satellite telemetry units to help determine if mallards carrying the additional weight of a transmitter display normal migration behavior.