Where Iowa's Ducks Come From

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Photo © MichaelFurtman.com

The Prairie Pothole Region is the core of what was once the largest expanse of grassland in the world, the Great Plains of North America. 

Its name comes from a geological phenomenon that left its mark beginning 10,000 years ago. When the glaciers from the last ice age receded, they left behind millions of shallow depressions that are now wetlands, known as prairie potholes. The potholes are rich in plant and aquatic life, and support globally significant populations of breeding waterfowl. 

 

Agricultural development caused considerable wetland drainage in the area. The Great Plains and Prairie Pothole Region are No. 1 on the 25 most important and threatened waterfowl habitats on the continent.

Click here for more information on DU's conservation priority areas.