Backgrounder

Prairie Paradise Conserved

The Government of Canada plays a key role in the conservation of wetlands, and other habitat types for the conservation of migratory birds and species at risk. By working with partners under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), over nine million acres of wetlands and associated upland have been secured for the benefit of waterfowl and other wetland associated species.

The North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) is an international action strategy among Canada, the United States, and Mexico, for conserving waterfowl throughout the continent.

Successful conservation depends on strong partnerships and the North American Waterfowl Management Plan is considered one of the most successful conservation initiatives in the world.

The Howe Ranch conservation project is one example of successful partnerships leading to significant conservation. Environment Canada contributed $1 million (M) towards the acquisition of this property which in turn leveraged $1.4 M by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act). The property will be managed by Ducks Unlimited Canada for maximum wildlife conservation

Background on the project:

  • The Bullshead Conservation Area is a 906 acre ranch located in southern Alberta in the County of Cypress (southeast Alberta), 10 kilometres east of Medicine Hat.
  • This native prairie property is home to several endangered or threatened prairie bird species including Sprague’s pipit, long-billed curlew and McCown’s longspur.
  • The property is of particular interest to the North American Waterfowl Management Plan partners as it is a priority area for pintail ducks. Continental populations of pintails have dropped to less than a quarter of a nine-million-plus peak record in the mid- 1950’s, due in part to habitat loss.
  • The grassland and wetland vegetation that make up the Bullshead Conservation Area will continue to provide excellent habitat for a variety of breeding birds and other wildlife.

Canada’s wildlife and natural spaces belong to us all and we will continue to coordinate our efforts with all Canadians, including conservation organizations, other governments, Aboriginal peoples and private citizens to protect Canada’s natural treasures.

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