Ducks Unlimited and Ducks Unlimited Canada hosted staff from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) for a Canadian project tour this past September. The tour was held in Quebec, where VDGIF directs their Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA) State Contributions to Canada Program funding to support habitat conservation along the St. Lawrence River. This vital habitat benefits numerous species of breeding and staging waterfowl in the Atlantic Flyway.

The trip provided VDGIF officials with a firsthand look at the challenges and opportunities facing waterfowl in this part of Canada. Attending the tour on behalf of the VDGIF were Dr. Gary Costanzo, migratory game bird program leader, and Sergio Harding, nongame bird conservation biologist. In addition to visiting conservation projects supported by VDGIF, Costanzo and Harding attended a dedication recognizing their agency for its participation in this important international conservation effort.

The VDGIF is currently in the fourth year of a five-year agreement to provide $125,000 to the AFWA State Contributions to Canada Program. VDGIF is the only state agency that currently provides nongame funds as part of their annual contribution as well, recognizing that DU projects in Quebec provide habitat for many species of migratory birds-game and nongame alike-that visit Virginia each year.