Prairie Post (West Edition)
Ducks Unlimited Canada launches Migration Tracker
Fall migration is underway across Canada. This means there’s an amazing spectacle of birds on the move right outside our doors. To help Canadians make the most of the season—and learn about important conservation efforts that keep species flying high all year long—Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is launching a Migration Tracker campaign.
The Migration Tracker campaign is a nationwide citizen science effort that encourages people to record the birds they’re seeing in their backyards or wherever they enjoy the outdoors. By joining the DUC Migration Tracker project (https://www.inaturalist. org/projects/duc-migration-trackerle-migration-tracker-de-cic ) free on iNaturalist.org (one of the world’s most popular nature apps), they can share their observations. Whether it’s a flock of mallards identified at a nearby wetland, or a goldfinch spied while strolling in the park, DUC encourages Canadians to record what species they’re spotting, and where.
“In addition to being a fun and easy way of experiencing migration, the observations people share provide valuable data that can help inform conservation efforts,” says Dave Howerter, DUC’s chief conservation officer. “Citizen science augments what researchers are seeing in their studies. With the DUC Migration Tracker, a camera or smartphone and a sense of adventure are all that’s needed to make a meaningful contribution to science.”
Many of the bird species found in Canada do not spend the winter here. DUC’s conservation efforts ensure they have the habitat they need to fuel up and prepare for their journeys south— and a place to breed when they return. To date, DUC has conserved and restored more than 6.6 million acres of critical habitats across the country.
“Over the next several weeks, Canada’s wetlands, grasslands and forests will be buzzing with activity as migrating birds fill up on food to gain the energy they need to get to their next destination,” says Howerter. “If you care about migratory birds, contributing to habitat conservation is the best thing you can do to ensure their populations remain at healthy, sustainable levels.”
As part of the DUC Migration Tracker campaign, DUC is sharing other ways that people can support Canada’s migratory birds. From turning off lights to reduce light pollution that can disorient birds flying at night, to participating in a local fundraising event, Canadians can learn more about all things migration at: https://www.ducks.ca/migrationtracker/