SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A survey shows a decline in the numbers of ducks and Canada geese in West Virginia this winter compared to a year ago.
The number of ducks counted during the annual mid-winter waterfowl survey fell by 26 percent to 3,716. Division of Natural Resources wildlife biologists counted 3,904 Canada geese, a 36 percent decrease from 2011.
Waterfowl biologist Steve Wilson says the numbers are higher than he expected.
Wilson says waterfowl are easier to count when they congregate on large bodies of water. The birds are scattered when there's no snow on the ground and streams and ponds aren't frozen.
The DNR released the survey's findings Thursday. It was conducted in January on sections of the Kanawha, Ohio, Shenandoah and New rivers, and on Tygart and Bluestone lakes.