The Prairie Pothole Region has been the focus of more waterfowl conservation work by DU, and others, than any other region of the world. It is also one of the most important agricultural regions in North America and has therefore been the target of many land use, agricultural and wildlife conservation regulations and public policies in Canada and the U.S. These have been directed under different social, climactic, political and economic realities and now have an overwhelming influence on how waterfowl conservation can be accomplished in each country. Thus, DU's conservation plan, while understanding that the waterfowl don't recognize political boundaries, must address the realities in each country if realistic waterfowl conservation programs are to be developed.
In 1999, the staff from DU in both the U.S. and Canada joined forces to develop a Conservation Vision for the PPR. The document sets forth a vision and underlying principles for DU's conservation programs in the entire PPR, quantifies population objectives, and sets forth wetland and upland habitat goals.
Our vision: "A mosaic of natural, restored and managed landscapes capable of perpetually sustaining populations of waterfowl and other wildlife."
DU goals for the region
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- Achieve waterfowl population goals in the NAWMP stepped down to the PPR level.
- Stop the loss of wetlands, with a priority on protecting and restoring landscapes that contain a high proportion (> 40%) of cover suitable for nesting waterfowl.
- Restore wetland complexes in areas with cover suitable for nesting waterfowl where the risk of loss or degradation of this upland cover is minimal.
- Prevent further loss of native or naturalized cover, particularly in areas with high wetland densities that attract over 12 duck pairs/km2 and contain a high proportion of cover suitable for nesting waterfowl.
- Increase the proportion of perennial cover in areas with more than the median density of wetlands and between 30% and 70% perennial cover.
- Increase annual cover suitable for nesting waterfowl (e.g., winter cereals) on landscapes with high wetland densities that attract over 12 duck pairs/km2 where opportunities for establishing perennial cover are limited.