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DNR Partners With Maryland Wood Duck Initiative To Increase Wood Duck Habitat
ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Service is partnering with the Maryland Wood Duck Initiative to enhance Maryland’s wood duck population and generate a greater appreciation of the wetland habitats in which wood ducks live.
“The wood duck, one of our most beautiful birds, is a wonderful ambassador to promote awareness and conservation of Maryland’s wetlands,” said Paul Peditto, Director of DNR’s Wildlife and Heritage Service.
The Initiative will implement best management practices to improve the productivity of wood duck box nesting programs, utilizing well-built nest boxes and predator guards that are properly positioned and in proximity to good brood rearing habitat. Documenting and analyzing nesting results and a sustained maintenance and inspection program are also critical to the effort’s success.
The Initiative organizes groups of volunteers to build nest boxes, monitor and maintain them, and conduct educational outings. “Dedicated volunteers form the backbone of our organization although the response to our mission from many state, federal and county wildlife professionals has been critical to the progress achieved thus far,” said Cliff Brown, Executive Director of the Maryland Wood Duck Initiative.
During the last two years, when the Initiative was informally active across Maryland, more than 600 new boxes were installed on the state’s public lands. The Initiative also worked with private landowners to install an additional 700 boxes.
Over the next five years, DNR hopes that more than 750 additional wood duck boxes will be installed on Maryland’s Wildlife Management Areas and other public lands. DNR supports the Initiative by purchasing materials for boxes, poles and predator guards, evaluating habitat opportunities, and providing support in the field as well as website services. The Initiative also utilizes funding from a diverse group of conservation organizations and individuals for site-specific projects.
The Initiative promotes a “Total Wetlands Experience” theme by monitoring wood ducks and other wildlife using nest boxes and exposing volunteers to other flora and fauna while in the field. School-based and inspection certification programs working with private landowners to improve nest box productivity, as well as research that documents the merits of best management practices, add a critical public education component to the project.
The Maryland Wood Duck Initiative is a completely volunteer-based non-profit organization. Other statewide partners currently include Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
For more information visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife.
August 2, 2007
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov