MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Sept. 9, 2013 – Ducks Unlimited Inc. (DUI) and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) jointly released a statement this week on the threat to the Great Lakes presented by non-native carp. The conservation groups called on governmental and non-governmental organizations to move toward the ecological separation of the Great Lakes watershed as soon as possible, as part of a comprehensive strategy to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp and other invasive species.
"DU is concerned about the potential negative impact to waterfowl and wetlands, especially with two of the species, grass and black carp," said Becky Humphries, director of DUI's Great Lakes and Atlantic Region. "Grass carp can eat their weight in vegetation daily, which over time can have a devastating effect on waterfowl food resources in the Great Lakes."
Humphries added that jumping carp also pose a threat to waterfowl hunters who often travel in boats during low-light conditions.
"The Great Lakes are a key mid-continent migration rest stop for millions of waterfowl each spring and fall, traveling between Canada and the United States," said Dr. Mark Gloutney, director of DUC's Eastern Region. "The wetlands and shallow bays of the lakes provide food resources for many key species of waterfowl, especially canvasbacks, redheads and lesser and greater scaup."
Gloutney and Humphries agree that ecological separation is the best long-term solution to preventing not only the current wave of Asian carp invasion, but protecting the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds from future invasions in both countries.
DUI and DUC strongly encourage federal, tribal/aboriginal, provincial, state and local agencies and public organizations to take quick action once the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) is released. Ecological separation will not be easy, but the past success of partnerships such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement indicate that it can be.
To view Ducks Unlimited's complete statement on Asian carp, go to www.ducks.org/2013CarpAgreement.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. To learn more, please visit ducks.ca. Connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/ducksunlimitedcanada and follow us on Twitter @ducanada and @DUContario.
Kristin Schrader (DUI)
Joanne Barbazza (DUC)
(705) 721-4444 ext. 240