Got questions? We have answers.

General Questions

Q: I didn’t get selected. Will I have other opportunities?

A: If you were not selected in October, your name will be retained for the drawing in early December. If you are not selected at all in 2023–24, the opportunity for future participation will depend upon the continuation of the project in future years.

Q: Does it cost anything to participate in duckDNA?

A: No. Ducks Unlimited’s generous donors and project sponsors will cover all costs for the pilot season.

Q: Are there other ways I can support this project?

A: Yes, and we thank you for asking! Please contact the customer support line to discuss options for your support.


Q: Is there a participant support line I can call for assistance?

A: Yes! 901.758.3708

Q: I received an e-mail indicating that I was selected, but my kit hasn't arrived yet. When will my kit arrive?

A: If your kit has not arrived within 10 days of activating your personalized duckDNA account, please call the participant support line for assistance.

Q: Items are missing from my kit. How can this be remedied?

A: Please call the participant support line for assistance.

Q: I misplaced my kit. Can I get a replacement?

A: Please call the participant support line for assistance.

Q: I shot a presumed hybrid, but I’m not a current participant in duckDNA. Is there another way for me to submit tissue for genetic analysis?

A: Possibly. Please email us at duckdna@ducks.org to request one of a limited number of tests set aside for this purpose.

Sample Collection and Results

Q: How exact does the harvest location need to be for each submitted sample?

A: The more exact the location you provide, the better it will serve scientific studies. However, we will accept approximate locations, either in the form of an adjacent pin on the map, the center of the county, the nearest town, or a zip code.

Q: Why do I need to report the harvest location, date, and habitat information for each sample?

A: A crucial part of this research is identifying where we are seeing game-farm hybrids in North America and where they are spreading. Also, knowing where a bird was harvested enables researchers to study the potential role of genetics in migration or winter site fidelity. Knowing which habitat the bird was harvested in will enable researchers to explore additional questions about how genetics affects habitat use. 

Q: How long until my results are delivered?

A: For the pilot season, we are learning along with you. We ask for your patience in this process, but we are hoping that results will be delivered within 3–4 weeks of the Lavretsky Lab receiving your samples.

Q: What type of tissue can we submit?

A: We recommend tissue be collected from the tongue for scientific standardization, but muscle tissue or foot webbing may also be provided if you are unable to collect tongue tissue.

Q: Can we submit samples from taxidermy birds?

A: No. We are not interested in samples from taxidermy mounts at this time.

Q: What type of ducks are being prioritized for sampling?

A: For the pilot year, we are prioritizing mallards and mallard-like ducks, including Mexican ducks, American black ducks, mottled ducks, and their presumed hybrids. However, other odd or interesting ducks will be accepted.

Q: Can we submit samples from both male and female ducks? 

A: Yes. Tissue samples from male and female ducks will be accepted.


Q: Will my information be made public or shared outside the research team?

A: No. All of your personal information will be kept confidential. While data on individual samples will eventually be hosted on publicly accessible scientific databases, no personally identifiable information will be associated with those data. For more information, please review the Ducks Unlimited privacy policy found here.