Ducks Unlimited completed the Father Hupp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) wetland enhancement in 2013. Since then, it has hosted many migratory birds and this fall the WMA was visited by a group of six endangered whooping cranes. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) temporarily closed Father Hupp WMA, a standard procedure to protect the birds.
Northwest winds and a low pressure system that moved across the prairies in November pushed many migrating birds south and the whooping cranes showed up on the WMA. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission publication NEBRASKAland has video of the birds.
The WMA is located two miles west of Bruning in Thayer County and includes 135 acres of marsh and 25 acres of uplands. It is an excellent out-of-the-way Rainwater Basin wetland that provides migratory waterfowl habitat and public hunting opportunities.
Working with the NGPC, Ducks Unlimited completed a wetland enhancement project to increase migratory waterfowl use and provide additional quality hunting opportunities. Enhancement activities included demolition of existing embankments, filling of remnant borrow areas and construction of a low-level embankment along the southerly and easterly perimeter of the property. Two water-control-structures and an emergency spillway were also added to manage water levels. The placement of the new embankments will greatly improve water and vegetation management for the entire basin and over all wetland function will be enhanced.
The project was funded by a North American Wetlands Conservation Act grant and partners Nebraska Environmental Trust, Rainwater Basin Joint Venture and Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, DU is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, with special events, projects and promotions across the continent. 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.
Jennifer P. Kross