Critical waterfowl breeding areas, Prairie Potholes face new threat

Critical waterfowl breeding areas, Prairie Potholes face new threat
Almost half of the U.S. duck and geese population is hatched in or near small wetlands in the upper Midwest. Known as Prairie Potholes, these wetlands are some of the most endangered habitat in the country – and today, they are facing a new threat in the rapid expansion of the biofuel industry.

The 50th anniversary of the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service's Small Wetlands Program in 2008 is a timely reminder of the threat to wetlands – and also what can be done to help. Under the program, millions of acres of essential waterfowl and grassland songbird habitat in the 300,000-square-mile Prairie Pothole Region have been protected.

The Small Wetlands Program was started in 1958 when wetland losses escalated dramatically as a result of Department of Agriculture subsidized drainage projects. Since then, three million acres of wetlands have been purchased with money raised through the sale of $15 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as "Duck Stamps."

The Service uses GPS systems to identify key habitat for individual species of waterfowl and endangered grasslands birds and overlays them to target acreage for acquisition that will benefit as many birds as possible. Looking ahead, the Service has identified almost 12 million acres of priority wetlands and grasslands, necessary to maintain current populations of ducks and geese, as well as grasslands songbirds and shorebirds that have suffered broad declines in population through loss of habitat.

Recommended for You

Brush-style bowfishing arrow rest and kits designed for simplicity and reliability. Bows

New TRUGLO Bowfishing EZ•Rest

May 23, 2019

Brush-style bowfishing arrow rest and kits designed for simplicity and reliability.

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish. Records

Upon Further Review: 70-Year-Old Catfish Record Voided

G&F Online Staff - May 22, 2019

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish.

It must be time for summer fishing because records are falling everywhere. Records

State Records Reported in Maryland, Michigan

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

It must be time for summer fishing because records are falling everywhere.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Berkley

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

Electric Filet Knife from Bubba Blades

As OSG's Lynn Burkhead looks on, Josh Neville shows off the cordless and corded versions of a new electric filet knife from Bubba Blades.

MLF Pros: What

MLF Pros: What's Your Go-To Lure?

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near anything that fits in their mouths. Catfish

5 Ways To Catch Catfish on Lures

Keith Sutton - September 16, 2015

As most catfish anglers know, blue cats, channel cats and flatheads will eat darn near...

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish time after time. Catfish

10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish...

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

See More Stories

More Stories

From a world-record crappie to the best gear of the year, these hunting and fishing articles were most popular with our readers. Stories

Game & Fish's Top 10 Stories of 2018

G&F Online Staff - December 24, 2018

From a world-record crappie to the best gear of the year, these hunting and fishing articles...

Once considered a denizen of the Western wilds, the coyote has learned to adapt to human Stories

Coyotes In Suburbia

Stephen D. Carpenteri - November 30, 2016

Once considered a denizen of the Western wilds, the coyote has learned to adapt to human

Could the northern stretches of the Lone Star State one day rival the south for big-buck supremacy? Whitetail

The Next ‘Big Tex' for Trophy Bucks?

Jordan Michaels - October 18, 2019

Could the northern stretches of the Lone Star State one day rival the south for big-buck...

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.