Current conservation programs
With the exception of a number of isolated studies, very little is known regarding the ecology of wetlands and waterbirds in the WBF. High priority information needs include the identification and description of key habitats, the relative value of these habitats to continental waterbird populations, and the ecological processes affecting habitat productivity. DU's current activities are focused on land cover inventory and mapping, waterbird surveys and wetland productivity research, all of which need to be expanded in the future. DU's actions over the past 2 years have stimulated partnership opportunities with industry, government agencies, universities, and aboriginal groups and greatly enhanced the understanding and concern for wetland systems in the WBF.
Over the next 20 years DUC will work to maintain the WBF as a landscape including wetlands and adjacent uplands capable of supporting waterfowl populations at levels comparable to the 1970s. By initiating actions to preserve the ecological integrity of wetlands and critical uplands, DU will be viewed as a leader in the conservation of habitat for waterfowl and other wetland wildlife in the WBF. Although the primary focus of DU activities will be the protection of intact wetland systems that support waterfowl and other wetland wildlife, restoration of damaged systems will be undertaken through innovative policies, land use practices, and partnership developments.
Future land use activities in the WBF will respect the functions and values of wetlands in the sustainable development of the region. By working with industry, government, and aboriginal partners with interests in the WBF, we will significantly increase our understanding of WBF wetlands, their values for waterfowl and other wildlife and the impacts of various industrial activities on the productivity of these wetlands. This information will be used to increase societal awareness of the values of the WBF to wildlife and to promote sustainable land use policies and practices that will maintain the ecological integrity of the region. As a result of DU’s efforts, the WBF will continue to play a significant role for North American waterfowl.