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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Receives Nine New Amphibian Aircraft

New Amphibian Aircrafts to Enhance Migratory Bird Survey Missions

July 30, 2010, Oshkosh, WI...The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Migratory Bird Management program will announce the receipt of nine new Kodiak float planes during the annual EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, WI, July 30, 2010.  A presentation will take place today near the Federal Pavilion at 9:30 a.m. CDT.
These amphibious aircraft are vitally important to the Service’s mission to monitor and manage waterfowl and other migratory bird populations. In addition, the aircraft can be used to conduct aerial damage assessments due to environmental disasters such as hurricanes, and enable remote sensing and survey work in portions of the continent previously inaccessible using older, limited-range aircraft.
“The Fish and Wildlife Service’s aviation program fulfills a major role in wildlife management,” said Rowan Gould, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “Migratory birds are some of nature’s most magnificent resources and serve as a useful barometer of the health of the environment, while providing economic and cultural benefits as well.  These planes will have a significant impact in helping us conserve and manage migratory birds for present and future generations.”

For over 50 years, teams of U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service pilot-biologists have taken to the skies each spring to survey North America's waterfowl breeding grounds, conducting in cooperation with the Canadian Wildlife Service the largest and most reliable wildlife survey in the world. Flying more than 80,000 miles and crisscrossing the country just above the treetops, they and observers on the ground record the number of ducks, geese and swans, and assess the quality and quantity of more than 2 million square miles of waterfowl breeding habitats. From the wide-open bays and wetlands of the eastern shores of North America to northern regions of Canada and Alaska, they are documenting an important part of our wild heritage. The results of these surveys determine the status of North America's waterfowl populations; play a significant role in setting waterfowl hunting regulations; and continue to guide the decisions of waterfowl managers throughout North America.
The mission of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Migratory Bird Program is to ensure long-term ecological sustainability of  migratory bird populations and their habitats for future generations, through careful monitoring, effective management, and by supporting national and international partnerships that conserve habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife.  For more information about the planes, visit: http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/dmbmdbhc.html.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service.  For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.