Sea Duck Joint Venture

A Conservation Partnership under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan

Sea Duck Joint Venture

The Sea Duck Joint Venture supports conservation through science.

Sea ducks are a unique group of birds of arctic and coastal habitats.

Numbers of many sea ducks are declining.

Two sea duck populations are listed as Threatened in the US and two are Species of Special Concern in Canada.

The Sea Duck Joint Venture provides funding to partners in support of sea duck research and monitoring.

Sea ducks reflect the health of coastal areas.

The SDJV’s Key Sites Habitat Atlas identifies the most important habitats for sea ducks in North America.

Satellite tracking has shown that some North American sea ducks winter in Greenland, Russia, and Japan.

Sea ducks are sensitive to human disturbance and coastal development.

SDJV promotes science to help make better decisions about conservation and management.

Home – Sea Duck Joint Venture

Sea ducks are a large group of waterfowl that, relative to other waterfowl, we know little about. The Sea Duck Joint Venture (SDJV) was formed to learn more about sea ducks, make information available to stakeholders, and ensure sustainable populations over the long term.

About the Sea Duck Joint Venture

The vision of the SDJV is to maintain sustainable populations of North American sea ducks throughout their ranges. The SDJV promotes the conservation of North American sea ducks by:

  1. Working with partners to generate and disseminate knowledge that will inform management decisions, habitat protection initiatives, and sea duck conservation in North America, and
  2. Increasing awareness of sea ducks, and encourage engagement of management and scientific communities, industry, and the public in sea duck conservation.

The Sea Duck Joint Venture is a conservation partnership established in 1999 as part of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. The partners are the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada, United States Geological Survey, Ducks Unlimited, Birds Canada, National Audubon Society, and Flyway Councils for all four North American Flyways.

About Sea Ducks

Sea Duck: Steller's EiderThe 15 species of waterfowl known as sea ducks constitute more than a third of the duck species breeding in North America, yet they are the most poorly understood group of waterfowl. Basic natural history information is lacking for some species, and there are few reliable population indices or estimates of annual survival for most of the species.

Accurate information on sea duck numbers and trends is lacking for most species, but some populations are in trouble. Spectacled Eiders and the Alaska-breeding population of Steller’s Eiders are listed as Threatened in the U.S., and the eastern populations of Harlequin Ducks and Barrow’s Goldeneyes are listed as Species of Special Concern in Canada.

Sea Duck: Black ScoterThe SDJV is testing survey methodologies to improve our understanding of sea duck status and trends, including conducting experimental surveys and developing methods to improve species detection and identification. Satellite telemetry projects, such as the Atlantic and Great Lakes Sea Duck Migration Study, have provided valuable information on migratory patterns, breeding areas, and key staging sites for scoters and Long-tailed Ducks. This information and survey data were used to develop the Sea Duck Key Habitat Sites Atlas, which identifies the most important areas for sea ducks in North America.


The SDJV promotes the conservation of all North American sea ducks through partnerships by providing greater knowledge and understanding for effective population and habitat conservation and management.

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