A coalition of conservation groups and state and federal agencies today announced the launch of a coordinated campaign to draw attention to the loss of prairie and wetland habitat in the Prairie Pothole Region — North America’s “duck factory.”
Partners in the effort, dubbed, the “Prairies Conservation Campaign,” include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited, World Wildlife Fund, Delta Waterfowl, the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks, Pheasants Forever and the North Dakota Natural Resources Trust.
“More than 50 percent of North American migratory waterfowl depend upon the mix of wetlands and grasslands found in the Prairie Pothole Region,” Noreen Walsh, regional director for the Mountain-Prairie Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said in a statement. “This area is called America’s ‘duck factory’ because it is the most productive area for nesting waterfowl on the continent, perhaps the world. These prairies and all the wildlife that they support are currently stressed by many factors acting together to threaten our natural heritage. By joining together as stewards, we can shed light on this problem and find solutions.”
Among other goals, the campaign will seek to create grassroots awareness in the region about landowner conservation programs and tools currently available to help prevent the loss of grassland. While this strategy will primarily focus on stakeholder cooperation in local communities, partner organizations invite the public to follow and participate in the conversation online using the #ConserveThePrairies hashtag.
I’ll have a closer look at the initiative in Sunday’s Herald outdoors section. In the meantime, more information is available here.