Ducks and geese are important indicator species that can tell biologists about the overall health of the environment.  In many species, the amount of contaminants such as PCBS and dioxins have gone down over the past 40 years after these chemicals were banned.  At the same time, several new contaminants have become an emerging concern (e.g. PFOAS, PFAS). 

The state wildlife agencies of Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania are partnering with Cornell University to learn more about the current contaminant levels found in commonly harvested ducks in the mid-Atlantic region of the Atlantic Flyway.  Similar to fish consumption advisories, we hope this information will help the state health agencies inform hunters of any risk associated with eating harvested waterfowl. The findings of this study will not affect hunting regulations in any way.  Understanding the contaminant levels found in these species will also help biologists identify contaminants that may be affecting waterfowl survival or reproduction. 

For this study, we are focusing on the 5 most harvested ducks and geese in these regions: Canada geese, mallards, American black duck, green-winged teal, and wood ducks. Because contaminants can take time to build up in a bird’s system, we are only looking for adult birds. 

If you harvest any of these species and would be willing to participate in this study, please fill out and submit your information below.  Participants would be asked to take a photograph of the wing of each duck they shoot and submit the photo online with the approximate location of where they shot it.Within 24 hours of reporting, an agency biologist will review the photo and let the hunter know if the bird is acceptable for the study. The biologist will use the photo to confirm the age of the bird.

The location provided  will not be shared or reported anywhere, but must be collected for documentation purposes.