Waterfowl Conservation Importance
What is Waterfowl Conservation?
Waterfowl conservation, as well as conservation in general, has been in the spotlight more recently, in part to the increasing issues of global warming, politics, and the economic downturn. Wetlands help protect not only waterfowl but many species of wildlife, plants, and watersheds. You may not think so but wetland conservation is beneficial to everyone regardless of whether or not you enjoy being in the outdoors or play video games all day.
Successful waterfowl conservation obviously requires successful efforts to raise money, but ultimately if the money raised through donations and fundraising efforts is used incorrectly, the money might as well be thrown in the trash. The most successful efforts are those that have a multi-pronged effort and should included the conservation of all aspects of wetland/grassland ecology, education, and promotion.
Types of Waterfowl
Ducks Unlimited is probably the largest, most successful, and well known waterfowl conservation organization in the world. They work to help conserve quality habitat that waterfowl use as habitat and breeding in North America and internationally. Generally hunters are the most supportive of conservation efforts but DU has been extremely successful in reaching all different types of people, hunters and non-hunters, and getting them involved with waterfowl/wetland conservation.
Why is Ducks Unlimted Such a great conservation organization?
- First and foremost is they have a great system of conservation efforts of acquiring land, managing land, understanding the benefits of education, highly successful fundraising efforts, and a very well known and reputable name
- They use 83% of each dollar towards waterfowl/wetland conservation and education.
- 14% goes towards fundraising and development, and only 3% goes to administration.
How does DU help waterfowl conservation?
- Acuiring Land - DU uses funds to purchase wetlands that is used by waterfowl as habitat and for breeding.
- Replanting Forests - Forests are used by some species of waterfowl, one example is the Wood Duck (Aix Sponsa) as nesting habitat.
- Restoring watersheds and grasslands - Waterfowl use wetlands as their main habitat and use grasslands for breeding so it is important to protect many types of habitats to support waterfowl.
- Working with and educating landowners - Private landowners are a huge hurdles and successes in conservation efforts . Hurdles because conservation organizations have less access to the lands, and successes because educating these landowners has led to companionships with conservation organizations that will last for years to come.
- Conservation easements - Conservation easements are agreements between landowners and either a land conservation organization (land trust) or goverment agency (local, state, or federal) that pays the land owner for land with specific agreements to do specific things that will conserve that land. Put simply the private land conservation orginization or goverment pays the land owner for the developing rights to the land. They pay the landowner and in turn the land owner is not allowed to develop the land. There are many types of conservation easements and too many different types of stipulations to cover in this hub.
Ducks Unlimited Headquarters
Range of Waterfowl
Waterfowl habitat and breeding range has a very broad distribution. As waterfowl are migratory birds they spend most of the summer months in the northern regions of North America and when cold weather starts to move in the will migrate to the southern regions of North America. Basically their range stretches the entire length of North America, from Canada to Mexico. Certain species of waterfowl migrate at certain times and to certain areas.
Carolina Waterfowl Rescue
Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is a wonderful organization, and is just one example of many organizations that are helping waterfowl. They take in waterfowl and other wildlife, mainly birds and they assess their health and provide medical attention to sick ones. All the money donated to them and all the money raised through fundraisers is used for helping take care of the animals. Everyone that helps there is done on a volunteer basis.
Carolina Waterfowl Rescue
Carolina Waterfowl Rescue located in Indian Trail, NC
Have you contributed to any type of charity or non-profit organization?
Benefits Associated With Wetlands
Wetland ecosystems are some of the more diverse ecosystems found on the planet. Wetland areas are beneficial for everyone, not just ducks.
- Many wetlands are can be and are used by hunters, for recreational fishing, and other outdoor rectreation such as walking, hiking, birdwatching, and water activities. These activities generate millions of dollars in revenue each year.
- Wetlands help control flood waters and help prevent droughts by retaining water during high periods of rain and releasing that water during times with little precipitation.
- Soils and plants found in wetlands help purify water that eventually finds its way into ground water, which we depend on for drinking water. Wetlands remove harmful elements from water such as nitrogen and phosphorus and removes harmful toxins.
- By purifying water wetlands help support healthy fish populations that millions, if not billions of people worldwide have in there diets.
Federal Duck Stamp
Every hunter that plans on hunting migratory birds has to purchase a duck stamp issued by the federal government. They are $15 and are a huge success in helping conserving and acquiring wetlands due to the federal government using on average $14.70 for this purpose.
State Ducks Stamps
Those wanting to hunt waterfowl have to purchase a State duck stamp as well. These are cheaper than the federal duck stamp and in most states cost $5, however some states are as low as $4 and some can cost up to $25.
For those that are not hunters
If you are not a hunter you can still help by collecting Duck Stamps. Collecting Duck Stamps has been very popular for many decades! The federal duck stamp program has a art contest for those of you that are artists, maybe your art could be featured on a Duck Stamp someday!