MEMPHIS, Tennessee - May 9, 2016 - May is American Wetlands month and as duck nesting season gets underway across North America, the United States and Canada will celebrate International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) on May 14.

IMBD is a conservation initiative that focuses awareness on conserving migratory birds and their habitats throughout the Western Hemisphere. The program is dedicated to international conservation efforts and environmental education in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean. The effort is coordinated by Environment for the Americas.

IMBD takes place on the second Saturday in May in the United States and Canada and on the second Saturday of October in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

This year IMBD highlights the importance of international efforts to conserve birds through agreements, laws, treaties, and collaborations. This year also marks the Centennial of the first of four bilateral treaties the United States signed to conserve migratory birds. In 1916, the U.S. and Great Britain, on behalf of Canada, signed the first international agreement of its kind to protect our shared migratory birds.

"It was concern about rapidly declining populations of migratory waterfowl at the beginning of the 20th century that prompted the Migratory Bird Treaty," said DU Chief Scientist Scott Yaich. "And Ducks Unlimited and state wildlife conservation agencies came together 50 years ago to create one of the first international partnerships with the purpose of generating financial resources dedicated to supporting conservation of migratory bird habitat across international borders."

One of the best ways to support migratory birds and wetland conservation in the U.S. is to buy a Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly known as the federal duck stamp.

"There are many reasons to buy duck stamps," said DU Chief Conservation Officer Paul Schmidt. "Hunters 16 years old and older must purchase a federal duck stamp each year to legally hunt migratory waterfowl in the United States. Visitors to national wildlife refuges buy the stamp each year to gain admission to some public lands. Birders and others buy the stamps to support bird conservation. Whatever your motivation for purchasing duck stamps, buy a couple of them each year to help make a difference for waterfowl and our sporting traditions."

Like last year, Ducks Unlimited's Waterfowling Heritage Center inside Bass Pro Shops at the Memphis Pyramid will host an IMBD event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The celebration is free to the public and will feature activities for kids, giveaways and more.

Visit for more information about International Migratory Bird Day and Environment for the Americas.

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13.6 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

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Gregg Powers
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