Ducks Unlimited Canada - National

Ducks Unlimited Canada - National

March 24, 2009 18:35 ET

Ducks Unlimited Canada/Wetland Birds Highlighted as Conservation Success: U.S. Report

Habitat restoration and conservation have reversed some declines; DUC states work far from done in Canada

OAK HAMMOCK MARSH, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - March 24, 2009) - The first-ever comprehensive report on bird populations in the United States released last week attributes dramatic increases of wetland birds such as ducks, herons, egrets, ospreys and pelicans to widespread conservation partnerships and funding programs, such as the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, that are paying huge dividends for waterfowl and waterbirds.

"Although the U.S. State of the Birds report was only focused on the United States, we all are aware that waterfowl are migratory and truly a continental resource," said Henry Murkin, Ducks Unlimited Canada's director of conservation programs. "For most North American ducks, Canada's prairie pothole region and western boreal forest are the continent's number one waterfowl breeding areas. The effective conservation of these breeding grounds is paramount to the well-being of our continent's waterfowl populations."

The U.S. report used data from three long running censuses conducted by citizens, scientists and biologists. The news was not nearly as good for all species, however. Nearly one third of 800 bird species in the United States are endangered, threatened or in significant decline due to habitat loss, invasive species and other threats. Looking for solutions, the report highlighted ongoing wetland conservation efforts as proof birds can respond quickly and positively. Murkin noted the acknowledgement, but clearly stated the work of wetland and waterfowl conservation organizations, programs and interests is far from done in Canada.

"In Canada, we are losing our wetland areas at a staggering rate all across the country," said Murkin. "As this report states, the efforts to conserve these areas can provide positive results for waterfowl populations. Obviously we are doing the right things, but we must continue and expand our conservation efforts if we are to secure the future of the Canadian waterfowl breeding areas."

The key, says Murkin, is government leadership at all levels.

"We need our governments to better understand the value of our wetland areas not only to waterfowl, waterbirds and wildlife, but to society as a whole and to have them step forward with proactive policies that conserve these areas for the future," he said.

Ducks Unlimited Canada is a private, non-profit organization that conserves, restores and manages wetlands and associated habitats for waterfowl. These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people.

Contact Information

  • Ducks Unlimited Canada
    Leigh Patterson
    Corporate Media Relations Specialist
    (204) 467-3306