Ducks Unlimited Canada delivers 106 habitat projects with support from the Natural Heritage Conservation Program — Ducks Unlimited Canada Skip to main content

Ducks Unlimited Canada delivers 106 habitat projects with support from the Natural Heritage Conservation Program

February 28, 2022 National

Organization releases report detailing positive impacts on biodiversity and climate change in areas with greatest conservation need

Oak Hammock Marsh, Man. – A report from one of the country’s largest and longest-standing conservation organizations shares the positive results it’s having on biodiversity and climate change thanks to support from Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program. During the past two years of the program, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has delivered 106 habitat projects in areas of the country with the greatest conservation need.

In total, the projects conserve 12,126 hectares (29,964 acres) across Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Working landscapes in these provinces are home to high numbers of species at risk and have experienced high rates of wetland and grassland loss. Using a diverse suite of conservation tools delivered in partnership with farmers, ranchers and other private landowners, DUC is helping create healthier habitats for wildlife, guard against the effects of extreme weather and improve Canada’s natural environment.

“The positive impact we’ve had on key landscapes through the Natural Heritage Conservation Program is significant,” says Larry Kaumeyer, chief executive officer for DUC. “Rich in biodiversity, these areas provide natural solutions to some of the most pressing environmental issues, including flood and drought prevention, water purification and climate change mitigation. The tremendous environmental services they provide benefit all Canadians and are worthy of our collective investment.”

As a chosen delivery agent for the Natural Heritage Conservation Program, DUC is required to raise the necessary funds to match the government’s investments.

“Our conservation community continues to step up and support our efforts. Their generous contributions ensure that we maximize the environmental returns, which is extremely important given the limited funding available for conservation,” says Kaumeyer.

The positive impacts these 106 habitat projects are having on both wildlife and people are outlined in the report, titled: “Saving our water, wildlife and wild places: Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Natural Heritage Conservation Program.” Highlights include:

  • Flood protection: The wetlands conserved and restored by DUC will help retain more than 6.7 million cubic meters of water on the landscape every year. That’s more than 2,700 Olympic-size swimming pools worth of water.
  • Carbon storage: DUC’s conservation and restoration efforts will prevent the release of almost 1.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents stored in the soils and sediments of wetlands and grasslands.
  • Water quality: The wetland conservation activities implemented by DUC have prevented an estimated 10 tonnes of phosphorus and 32 tonnes of nitrogen from entering rivers and lakes.
  • Support for species at risk: Grasslands conserved and restored by DUC are estimated to provide habitat for more than 5,300 nests per year for priority grassland-nesting species. This includes the federally threatened chestnut-collared longspur and the Baird’s sparrow — a species of special concern in the Canadian Prairies.
  • Protection for pollinators: Habitat conserved by DUC is supporting 80 documented species of bees.

Read the complete details of DUC’s report, which includes project spotlights and landowner profiles, at

DUC is currently completing additional habitat projects with funding received from year three of the Natural Heritage Conservation Program and is looking ahead to advancements it will make in the program’s fourth year. Environment and Climate Change Canada has set a goal of securing 200,000 hectares (494,211 acres) by 2023.

DUC is proud to work alongside the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Wildlife Habitat Canada, the Canadian Land Trusts Working Group and local Canadian land trusts in delivering the Natural Heritage Conservation Program.

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations, Indigenous Peoples and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. To learn more about DUC’s innovative environmental solutions and services, visit

The Government of Canada’s Natural Heritage Conservation Program (NHCP) is a unique partnership to support new protected and conserved areas by securing private lands and private interests in lands. The program is managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Federal funds invested in the program are matched with contributions raised by NCC and its partners, Ducks Unlimited Canada, and the country’s land trust community.

Contact Information

Ashley Lewis
Senior Communications Specialist
Ducks Unlimited Canada