TOPEKA, KS. – Nov. 9, 2022 – Last week, with the help of Ducks Unlimited (DU) and other nonprofit conservation organizations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) awarded a $4.3 million grant to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) Commission to help the agency work with landowners on conserving habitat for endangered whooping crane and threatened eastern black rails, as well as other bird and waterfowl species.
The USFWS provided the funds through the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund’s Recovery Land Acquisition grant program—a 16-state, $66.7 million initiative to support programs that safeguard at-risk species through habitat restoration and protection projects.
“This grant funding makes it possible for us to conserve nearly 1,600 acres of critical wetland habitat that will not only benefit species most at risk, but many other species that depend on wetlands for food, shelter and respite during migration,” said KDWP Secretary Brad Loveless. “We know we can’t conserve imperiled species without first conserving their habitat, so this is a great ‘next step’ towards paving the way for these projects, as well as future efforts to conserve critical habitat across our great state.”
According to the KDWP, DU played a critical role in the grant application process and helped spearhead efforts to identify and prioritize key stopover habitats for whooping cranes, as well as critical nesting and brood-rearing habitats for threatened Eastern Black Rails.
“The partnership between KDWP, Ducks Unlimited, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to secure these funds is a prime example of how collaboration can greatly benefit imperiled species,” said Matt Hough, DU’s manager of conservation programs in Kansas. “Working together toward the common goal of conserving wildlife are what these relationships are all about, because when we protect wetlands and the associated habitats, both wildlife and people benefit.”
The grant is authorized under the Endangered Species Act and partially funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
For more information, visit www.ducks.org, and be sure to follow DU’s Twitter feed – @DucksUnlimited and @DUConserve – to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.
About Ducks Unlimited
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 15 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.