Ducks Unlimited (DU) announced it has reached a conservation milestone with more than 13 million acres of habitat conserved in North America. The groundbreaking number is a cumulative accomplishment of the millions of DU members, as well as volunteers and partners, who have been a part of the organization over the past 76 years.
"Coming on the heels of DU's 75th anniversary year, this milestone is a fitting tribute to the hard work of each and every member, volunteer and staff member who has contributed in any way over the past three-quarters of a century," said DU CEO Dale Hall. "If not for their dedication and commitment to conservation, this accomplishment would not have been possible."
Such conservation gains did not come easily in the face of ongoing threats to waterfowl and their habitats. Loss of wetlands and other waterfowl habitats across North America is a challenge DU volunteers take seriously, and their efforts will not stop now.
"DU's on-the-ground habitat conservation work, science and policy efforts, and the hard work of all waterfowl conservationists will never be more important than in the years ahead," said Dr. Scott Yaich, DU's director of conservation operations. "DU, along with our waterfowl conservation partners, must build upon the progress that resulted in 13 million acres conserved."
Officials said, "The groundbreaking number is a perfect example of how much can be achieved when hunters and others with a passion for waterfowl and wetlands conservation work together for a common goal. DU's mission has always been to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitat for North America's waterfowl, and this milestone is a direct reflection of that statement."