Take Action! Vital conservation grant programs in danger of eliminatio

If there was ever a good time to step in and help, now would be it! -DuckHunter.net

 

Enough is enough! Congress has been slashing funding for conservation programs recently and it’s time for legislators to hear from sportsmen.

A House Appropriations bill has proposed zeroing out several vital grant programs such as the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). These programs combine non-federal dollars from partners such as Ducks Unlimited and match them with modest federal dollars in order to deliver millions of acres of habitat conservation on the ground. These programs are good for conservation, good for the economy and are good government.

Read more here.

DW – Introduces Bold New Logo

newlogoBISMARCK, N.D. — Delta Waterfowl has created a striking new logo to represent the storied waterfowl conservation organization as it evolves to face the ongoing challenges for ducks and duck hunters throughout North America.

Rooted in a historic foundation of waterfowl and wetlands research dating back to 1911, Delta’s leaders recognize that research alone won’t increase duck production, stop wetland losses or preserve waterfowl hunting. Using sound science as a guide, today’s Delta advances modern approaches to waterfowl and habitat conservation with a focus on producing ducks, all while standing strong for waterfowl hunters.

Delta’s new logo represents this evolution, …..Click here to read more!

DU, NFWF meet to discuss Gulf Coast restoration

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) met with Ducks Unlimited staff in Port Arthur, Texas, in late July to discuss DU’s Gulf Coast Initiative.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department hosted the meeting, assisted with a field tour and provided an overview of wetlands restoration opportunities in J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and southeast Texas. During the field tour, NFWF staff visited a variety of private and public coastal restoration sites, including Texas Prairie Wetlands Project restoration areas, J.D. Murphree WMA coastal marsh restoration sites and a marsh shoreline protection project along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

The group had a productive discussion the following day at the …….Click here to read more!

“Duck Numbers Remain Strong”, says Delta Waterfowl

Breeding Population Survey estimates 45.6 million ducks; Water conditions right for excellent duck production

 

BISMARCK, N.D. — North America’s spring duck population is down slightly from record levels, but pond counts are up 24 percent over last year, according to the 2013 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey released today.

chart-dwThe survey, which has been conducted annually since 1955 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife service, puts the breeding duck population at 45.6 million, the second-highest level ever recorded.

“We started with high numbers of breeding ducks, and we have great water in the right places for renesting and duckling survival,” said Frank Rohwer, president of Delta Waterfowl. “Duck production should be excellent.”

Read the full story here.

More teal in early-season bag…

More teal in early-season bag, higher possession limit encourage hunters

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – July 1, 2013 – This fall, early-teal-season hunters may have an opportunity to bag more teal. Additionally, if the Department of Interior finalizes the waterfowl harvest regulations as initially proposed, the possession limit would increase. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a six-teal bag limit for early teal season and a possession limit for all seasons equivalent to three daily bag limits. Current limits are a four-teal daily bag during the special season and a possession limit of two daily bag limits.

“Ducks Unlimited is always pleased to see increased opportunities for waterfowl hunting,” said DU Chief Scientist Dale Humburg. “Harvest regulations are biologically based, and teal population trends have certainly been favorable in recent years.”

Habitat conditions in the Prairie Pothole Region have generally been wet and favorable for the last several years, laying the foundation for excellent nesting success for prairie nesters. Habitat conservation efforts by DU and others across North America have also served to bolster waterfowl populations.

“To date, Ducks Unlimited has helped conserved more than 13 million acres of important waterfowl habitat across the continent, but we cannot rest on that success,” Humburg said. “Despite record numbers in the breeding waterfowl surveyover the last few years, if left unchecked, all prairie-breeding ducks will be negatively impacted by the continuing trend of wetland and grassland losses.”

The higher possession limit will be especially helpful for the thousands of waterfowl hunters who travel for hunting trips each year and want to take their harvest home with them. If approved, they will be able to possess up to three daily bag limits at a time, rather than two. For hunters that take week-long trips across the country to harvest waterfowl, this change will make a difference. Because state regulations may vary within the federal framework, DU reminds hunters to check state-specific regulations before heading to the marsh.

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Delta Goes Live With Duck Cam

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EGELAND, N.D. — All across the prairie each spring, a dramatic struggle of nesting hen ducks to protect incubating eggs and survive in a grassland habitat teeming with predators plays out.

Skunks, raccoons, foxes, opossums and other toothy critters looking for an easy meal threaten to destroy the nests. Ultimately, the drama boils down to a hen — literally a sitting duck — trying to hide her eggs and herself in the grass for more than three weeks to hatch a brood of fluffy ducklings.

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Now, you can watch! The Delta Duck Cam, a streaming webcam placed near an incubating wild duck, is your live, real-time window into the life of a hen on a nest in North Dakota.

Read more!

Delta Waterfowl Research Spans North America

dwavatarBISMARCK, N.D. — For 75 years, science has been the cornerstone of Delta Waterfowl. Research shapes the conservation programs and management policies that help put more ducks in the air, year after year.

“It’s been our history — research defines what we do,” said Dr. Frank Rohwer, Delta Waterfowl’s president. “Research drives us and our programs, and it should always drive wildlife management. We’re committed to finding things that work.”

From duck studies to hunter satisfaction to land management, Delta Waterfowl researchers employ cutting-edge technology and science to find the breakthroughs that will shape the future of waterfowl management.

Here are the research projects that Delta is currently working on or collaborating with partners to complete.

  • California Water Scarcity: California’s water supply is highly controlled, leaving little for ducks and geese. As partners with University of California-Davis and the U.S. Geological Survey, this study probes how less water will affect wintering waterfowl populations and ultimately, could influence future water policies.
  • CRP and Landowner Attitudes: To the detriment of ducks, the Conservation Reserve Program is slowly disappearing, partly because of waning participation. This study will shed light on the views of farmers and ranchers, and how conservation management programs can be improved.
  • Predator Management: Results from 2012 demonstrated the effectiveness of predator management in the parklands of Manitoba and areas of low nesting cover in North Dakota — both known for chronically low nest success. This ongoing study continues to explore the effectiveness of trapping predators and their relationship with nesting ducks.
  • Mottled Duck Management: Mottled duck breeding success is low along the Gulf Coast — but not on manmade islands in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin. Delta researchers are studying predators and vegetation to learn why.
  • Pacific Flyway Mallards: The goal is to update data on where Pacific Flyway mallards breed and nest so future conservation and management efforts can strategically target specific habitat. Delta is partnering with Dr. Todd Arnold of the University of Minnesota.
  • Chesapeake Bay Phragmites: Phragmites compete against desirable native North American plants, negatively affecting wetlands and waterfowl. Delta is partnering with researchers at Utah State University to find out how to best manage these invasive species.
  • Wood Duck Harvest: When bag limits increase or decrease, what are the consequences on duck populations? This study in Nevada by Dr. Chris Nikolai monitors wood ducks as various hunting regulations are experimentally manipulated.
  • Winter Habitat and Breeding Ducks: In the 1980s, research found a relationship between winter habitat conditions in the lower Mississippi Valley, and breeding success the following spring. This study partners with researchers at the University of Georgia to update the data to see if the same patterns exist today.
  • ALUS Evaluation: Delta’s Alternative Land Use Services has shown great promise as a means to conserve and enhance Canadian wetland habitat. Several ongoing evaluation projects will test effectiveness and landowner reaction.
  • Hunter Satisfaction: Why are duck hunters hanging up their waders for good? Luke LaBorde of Louisiana State University surveys waterfowlers in the Mississippi Flyway to shed some light on the problem.
  • Habitat and Nest Success: LSU student researcher Maria Bianco seeks to determine how proximity to roads, field edges, abandoned buildings, tree rows and wetlands affect duck nest hatching rates in North Dakota.
  • Duck Hunters’ Thoughts: With the continual decline in waterfowl hunting participation, Delta Waterfowl is partnering with various entities to develop the capacity to assess hunter satisfaction annually.

For more information, contact John Devney at jdevney@deltawaterfowl.org(888) 987-3695 Ext. 218 or Frank Rohwer at frohwer@deltawaterfowl.org.

Delta Waterfowl’s 2013 Spring Raffle

All ticket buyers will be able to enjoy Delta Waterfowl’s 2013 Spring Raffle knowing they are spending money on continued conservation efforts.
With 40 prizes to be raffled off, such as a 2013 Polaris Sportsman, commemorative Stoeger 12 gauge coach shotgun and a Wood Duck box signed by multiple legendary stock car drivers, a $50 ticket seems to be a little bit easier to explain to my wife.
Take a look at the whole prize list before the deadline on July 1, 2013. Then be sure to not miss the drawings on July 5th. Delta Waterfowl gives you the options to purchase your tickets through the site with a debit/credit card (North Dakota gaming law does not allow credit to be extended for raffles. Please enter your debit card information only) or by contacting Delta’s Bismarck office at 1-888-987-3695.

Mallard Life Cycle – Ducks Unlimited

In the space of one year a duck experiences the full spectrum of seasonal changes that usher in opportunities and challenges. Follow the life cycle diagram from breeding to wintering for a better understanding of the activities and energy requirements in different phases of a duck’s annual cycle.

For the full article, please click HERE.

Light Goose Dilemma

Since the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was signed in 1918, the main objective of North America’s waterfowl management community has been to maintain or increase duck and goose populations.

In recent decades, however, waterfowl managers have faced a new challenge as populations of lesser snow, greater snow, and Ross’s geese—collectively known as light geese—have soared to alarmingly high levels.

For the full article, please click HERE.