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Waterfowl

Wetlands provide important breeding and migrating areas for waterfowl.

The natural world is complex. It works best when it contains a diverse system of fish and wildlife. Waterfowl contribute to this system in many ways — as inhabitants, predators and prey.

More than 80 years ago, few people thought much of declining waterfowl populations. But hunters noticed. They understood the link between lost habitat and disappearing wildlife. The sportsmen of the 1930s knew that in order to save waterfowl, they needed to restore and protect wetlands. They formed Ducks Unlimited Canada for that purpose, which continues to guide our work today.

The waterfowl that nest in Canada are also important to people beyond our borders. When they migrate each fall, they spread out across North America. Many birds that populate the United States and Mexico get their start in Canada.

Waterfowl rely on finding the resources they need when they migrate each spring. But it’s never a guarantee. Many species rely on two of the most threatened habitats in Canada during the breeding seasons: wetlands and grasslands. If their habitat continues to disappear, the birds will disappear too.

By conserving wetlands, waterfowl and all wildlife will benefit.

The fight to conserve our wetlands

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Swans
Swans © DUC

Taking Action

Canadians need to hang on to the habitat we still have. Ducks Unlimited Canada is committed to this conservation cause.

Many waterfowl take part in the spring migration. These geese, swans and ducks follow their instincts like a compass, guiding them back to their northern breeding grounds. There, if all goes well, they will raise broods, feed and prepare to retrace their migration path in the fall. That’s why we’re working on projects that:
  • Save habitat by working with everyday Canadians who understand the dire need for conservation. To date, we have secured more than 6.5 million acres of habitat and positively influenced another 201.8 million acres.
  • Restore habitat including wetlands and grasslands. These can be difficult to restore once they are destroyed. Our engineers and biologists are experts at bringing these habitats back to life. Historic wildlife havens like Delta Marsh in Manitoba, nearly destroyed by invasive carp, show promise for recovery thanks to our work.
  • Work with partners on large-scale conservation projects. We helped develop the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, which has secured nearly 23.1 million acres of wetlands and grasslands in Canada.
  • Includes research in biology and ecology are at the core of conservation. Ducks Unlimited Canada gathers this information through our science arm, the Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research.