DUC by the Numbers: 2019 Annual Report — Ducks Unlimited Canada Skip to main content
Annual Reports & Financials

DUC by the Numbers: 2019 Annual Report

2019 Annual Report

Our Conservation Success

DUC conserves important wetlands that are at risk, restores those that have been lost or damaged and manages the areas under our care. Our work delivers results you can wade in and walk on.

DUC’s total conservation footprint

11,023 Habitat Projects

Under our care

6.4 million Acres Conserved

Including 3.0 million acres restored

177.2 million Acres Influenced

(Cumulative results since 1938)

Annual Progress

  2019 Goals 2019 Results 2018 Results 2017 Results
Habitat acres conserved 86,192 98,766 105,902 120,109
Includes acres restored 51,087 51,187 48,442 49,574
Habitat acres influenced 5.7 million 26.2 million 5.2 million 49.2 million

Looking ahead to 2020

DUC is planning to conserve 89,875 acres (including the restoration of 45,545 acres) and to influence 4.0 million acres of critical habitat across the country.

Our long-term vision

DUC is striving to realize our conservation vision and associated habitat goals in time for our 100th anniversary in 2038. This will be achieved by conserving 10.2 million acres (including the restoration of 7.3 million acres). We recently completed a comprehensive International Conservation Plan that will guide our efforts to realize our vision in the next 19 years.

Our Environmental and Economic Impact*

The wetlands DUC saves aren’t just for ducks. They’re for all of us. These amazing ecosystems are some of the country’s most valuable natural resources.

Ecosystem services

The wetlands and other natural areas DUC conserves contribute many ecosystem services, or environmental benefits, to society. These include carbon capture and storage, water purification, regulation of water flows, erosion prevention, waste and nutrient filtration, biodiversity and wildlife habitat, pollination, biological control and food.

The total value of these ecosystem services associated with the 6.4 million acres (2.6 million hectares) of habitat under DUC’s care is estimated
at $5 billion per annum. This works out to an average of $782.38 per acre, per year ($1,923.07 per hectare, per year).

$5.2 Billion Total economic value

To society per year

For every $1 invested in DUC conservation, restoration and wetland management efforts, society receives $22 worth of economic, ecological and societal well-being benefits.

$239.5 million Nature-related Recreation and Tourism

$88.56 million Gross Domestic Product

Includes business profits and employment salaries

$4.9 Billion Ecosystem Services

*Source: Anielski, M., J. Thompson, and S. Wilson. 2014.
A genuine return on investment: The economic and societal well-being value of land conservation in Canada. Calculations based on 2012 figures, adjusted for inflation. 

Two people taking water samples

Our Financial Commitment

DUC is dedicated to making the best use of its charitable dollars, investing in conservation activities that produce the greatest results for Canada’s land, water and wildlife.

Our goal is to invest 80 per cent of our expenditures in habitat conservation annually. In the 2019 fiscal year, DUC invested 81 per cent in habitat conservation.

Looking ahead to 2020

DUC is planning to realize $90.3 million in gross revenue.

Uses of Funds

  2019 Goals 2019 Results 2018 Results 2017 Results
Conservation $78.8 million $79.8 million $78.7 million $80.1 million
Includes capitalized land purchases 81% investment 81% investment 81% investment 82% investment
Fundraising $11.8 million $12.9 million $13.2 million $12.2 million
Administration $6.5 million $6.3 million $5.9 million $5.1 million

Sources of Revenue (in millions)

*Includes gift-in-kind donations
DUC also leveraged lines of credit for our Revolving Land Conservation Program of $19.3 million in 2019, $21.7 million in 2018 and $9.5 million in 2017.

Our Relationship with Canadians Wetland conservation brings Canadians together in many powerful ways. People from across the country, from all walks of life, are making DUC’s work possible.

DUC’s Conservation Community stands 121,657 strong

This diverse group of supporters is made up of donors, landowners, students and teachers, fundraising event attendees and many others who are taking action to support DUC’s conservation mission.

Here is a closer look at what some of these key ambassadors are doing:

5,228 Volunteers

Raise funds and awareness for wetland conservation

18,846 Landowners

Protect vital habitat on their property

407 Staff Members

Work to advance conservation every day

47,899 Event Attendees

Participate in fundraising activities in their communities

Our grassroots activities are also building important local relationships.

DUC brings friends, neighbours and residents together in support of wetland conservation. In FY19, DUC was proud to host:

320 fundraising events including gala dinners, auctions, clay shoots, trail runs and more

Key Accomplishments in 2019

DUC is proud to have realized many important achievements that are strengthening our business and advancing our mission.

Launching the second phase of DUC’s business system transformation project, which included the implementation of a sophisticated new land management system that is enhancing our ability to administer our conservation programs.

Investing $9.9 million in DUC’s Revolving Land Conservation Program, which supports Canada’s working landscape by helping keep land in the hands of private owners.

Supporting a national network of high-school students and teachers who are taking on wetland conservation projects at 25 DUC-recognized Wetland Centres of Excellence.

Awarding eight graduate fellowships to some of North America’s most outstanding university students who are pursuing wetland and waterfowl research at institutions across Canada and the United States.

Establishing the DUC Endowed Chair in Wetland and Waterfowl Research at the University of Saskatchewan – the first of its kind in Canada.

Receiving ongoing support from federal government programs including the Natural Areas Conservation Program, the National Wetland Conservation Fund, and securing funding from the newly established Nature Fund.

Implementing a new National Health and Safety Program that’s enhancing DUC’s work environment and contributing to the well-being of staff.

Looking Ahead

As DUC looks ahead to 2020, the underlying principles guiding our work include:

Building on eight decades of progress.

Recognizing the increasingly challenging and sophisticated political, social, technological, legal, economic and environmental climate in which we live and work.

Fixing our sights firmly on a sustainable future.

DUC’s 2020 business plan defines our five highest business priorities as follows:

Unrestricted Revenue

Focusing our resources to address the ongoing critical need for unrestricted funding, which will allow us to invest our charitable dollars in the most needed areas of our business.

Systems Transformation

Selecting and implementing a new constituent relationship management (CRM) system to help staff and volunteers build meaningful relationships, market to existing and new audiences, gain efficiencies, grow our resources and reduce risk.

National Marketing Strategy

Implementing DUC’s national marketing strategy across multiple platforms and channels to raise our brand profile and unrestricted revenue.

Cultural Evolution

Building a strong, effective and diverse organization that offers a safe, inclusive and respectful culture as well as an adaptive work force.

Government Revenue

Stewarding our relationships with provincial, federal and state governments to grow public investment and maximize critical partnership/policy opportunities that support DUC’s habitat conservation efforts.


Keeping these business priorities at the forefront, while continuing to adapt to and manage challenges and opportunities as they emerge, will make the coming year a defining one for DUC.

Financial Statements and Reports


For the purpose of charity information return, our charitable registration number is 11888 8957 RR0001.