Ducks Unlimited celebrating 75 years

Joan
Joan LeBlanc
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Duck Day at Beaubassin

Drake the Duck, the Ducks Unlimited mascot, spent some time entertaining a number of children at the Ducks Unlimited 75th Anniversary Duck Day events held on Saturday in Aulac. Shown here, Drake is set to play a game of washer toss with several little girls, who were sporting festive face paint designs, as part of the day-long events.

AULAC, N.B. – Ducks Unlimited Canada is celebrating its 75th year in Canada in 2013. In the local region the organization marked the special year at its Duck Day event held on July 20 at the Beaubassin Research Centre in Aulac.

Horse and wagons provided transportation from the main road to the research centre while Ducks Unlimited’s mascot, Drake the Duck was on hand to assist and entertain the younger visitors throughout the day.

The day’s events began with a welcome at the research centre followed by a number of demonstrations including a retriever demo where trainers showed what they specially trained dogs can do in the fields and marshlands; and a duck banding demo, with wildlife biologists banding ducks and then releasing them back in the marshlands. Many visitors opted for a marsh tour by canoe while participants enjoyed a free barbecue and cake with live music, during the noon hour followed by a critter dipping session and a salt marsh and nature tour along the Acadian dykeland and salt marsh.

Throughout the day the many visitors to the site also enjoyed building nest boxes for ducks, took part in a wetland scavenger hunt, made their own wetland tracks and got to visit the research centre’s on-site lab.

Worried about the effects of the great American Dust Bowl of the 1930s that caused immeasurable destruction to many generations of countless waterfowl species of waterfowl, at that time a group of US conservationists got together to see what could be done to ease the strain on seabirds during that time. They realized that many of the North American seabirds originated in the Canadian prairies so launched an initiative to raise money to help with conservation efforts in Canada. It was from that initiative that Ducks Unlimited was ultimately born, first incorporated in the US in January, 1937, followed in Canada two months later. Since that time chapters have also been established in Latin America, Mexico, New Zealand and Australia.

Since its inception Ducks Unlimited has become a world leader in wildlife conservation, conserving more than 12.9 million acres of waterfowl habitat over the past 75 years. In addition to assisting in the development of government policies affecting wetlands, the organization partners with many governments, businesses, private corporations, non-governmental bodies and private citizens to restore and manage degraded wetlands and to prevent further wetland deterioration. It generates more than $180 million of revenue within North America each year, of which 80 per cent is invested in habitat conservation.

For more information on Ducks Unlimited Canada, check out its website at www.ducks.ca.

Organizations: Ducks Unlimited, Beaubassin Research Centre, North American

Geographic location: Canada, AULAC, US Latin America Mexico New Zealand Australia North America

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