North Dakota is one of the 10 states, two Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory that make up the Central Flyway. Much of North Dakota falls within the U.S. portion of the Prairie Pothole Region making the state a key breeding area and a significant contributor to continental waterfowl populations. In 2005, there were an estimated 4.1 million breeding ducks settled across North Dakota.
Mallards, northern pintails, blue-winged teal and gadwall are the primary species of upland nesting waterfowl found within North Dakota. Northern shovelers, green-winged teal, American wigeon and lesser scaup are also found in lesser numbers. When sufficient emergent cover is present in larger prairie pothole wetlands, over-water-nesting canvasbacks, redheads and ruddy ducks can also be found in significant numbers.
North Dakota is included in DU's Preserve Our Prairies Initiative and since DU's Great Plains Regional Office opened in 1984, DU has worked with partners to conserve 476,766 acres in the state. Our goal is to restore and perpetually protect vital grassland and wetland habitat complexes across key areas of the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota to ensure the state remains one of the most important breeding areas for waterfowl in North America. Your support of DU will help us achieve that goal.
View the 2020 North Dakota state conservation report.