Wetlands provide ecological and economic benefits

Wetlands come in many different forms. They can be tidal zones, marshes, bogs or swamps among many other types. However, they all share characteristics that make them wetlands. They are areas where water is present above or near the surface of the soil for at least a portion of the year, and the soil and vegetation present is determined by the presence of water. Some wetlands need to be dry for part of the year to maintain their hydrologic cycle. Wetlands provide several ecosystem services such as reducing erosion, recharging aquifers and providing habitat for several wildlife species.

Food Choice Plays Key Role in Attracting Migratory Ducks

Understanding duck food preferences is important when managing impoundments and wetlands to attract migratory ducks. Dabbling ducks and wood ducks are the focus of most duck hunters and duck habitat managers in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas. Dabbling duck species include mallard, gadwall, American wigeon, northern pintail, northern shoveler, three teal species (green-winged, blue-winged and cinnamon) and a few other less common species. Diving ducks such as canvasback, redhead, ring-necked duck and lesser scaup tend to receive less management focus in Oklahoma and Texas.