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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Waterfowl hunters are likely seeing an increased number of ducks in recent weeks.

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission biologists conducted aerial waterfowl surveys in the state's Delta region, the Arkansas River Valley and southwestern Arkansas. The duck population index in the Delta was more than 830,000 ducks. This is about half of the 2009-2013 average for the December survey. The mallard population estimate was about 475,000.

In the Arkansas River Valley, the estimated total duck count was 29,000 ducks, including more than 15,000 mallards, and the southwestern Arkansas count was about 29,000 ducks, including more than 10,000 mallards.

Luke Naylor is the AGFC waterfowl program coordinator. Naylor said the below-average population in the Delta shows that cold weather and habitat conditions play a major role in Arkansas duck numbers.

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