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

Gear

Get Ready for Summer with Cordova Coolers

May 23, 2019

Memorial Day sale offers 15 percent off everything website-wide.

Hogs

Quick Tips: How to Spot and Stalk a Hog

Ian Nance - May 28, 2019

Try these tips to improve your wild boar hunting skill set.

Fishing How-To

Your Guide for the Best Catfish Baits

G&F Staff

If you've been catching catfish with the same method for years, it's time to change it up and...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

Fresh off catching the biggest bass in ICAST Cup history, 13 Fishing pro Jessie Mizell shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Big Squirm soft plastic worm and the company's unique Pathfinder topwater walking bait that is totally weedless in design.

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

Major League Fishing pros talk about the first lure they choose when targeting spawning bass.

New Spinning Reel for Finesse Fishermen

As Pure Fishing's Andrew Upshaw explains, reel making giant Abu Garcia has done it again at ICAST 2019 with a new spinning reel geared towards finesse fishermen.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Catfish

Catfish Night & Day: How to Catch 'Em Both Ways

Terry Madewell - April 04, 2018

Catfish tend to be found in shallower water at night, but they are still active during the...

Other Freshwater

6 Tips for Nighttime Crappie

Keith Sutton - June 19, 2017

Fishing for nighttime crappie gets you out of the summer heat and puts more fish in the...

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...

See More Stories

More Stories

Stories

Arizona Mountain Lion Hunt Turns Into Dangerous Jaguar Encounter

Aaron Decker - November 30, 2011

A father and daughter with their dogs on a dry ground mountain lion hunt get more than they...

Stories

Behind the Badge: A Warden's First Night-Poaching Bust

Game & Fish Online Staff - July 30, 2018

Behind the Badge is a regular series of perspective stories by Oklahoma game warden Carlos...

Stories

Gear Reviews: New Coyote Hunting Rifles, Shotguns

Game & Fish Online Staff - September 07, 2018

Here's a look at some of coyote hunting rifles and shot gun featured in this summer's Game &...

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.

×