Delta Waterfowl was recently awarded $100,000 from Manitoba’s new Conservation Trust to build and install 500 Hen Houses in the province during Winter 2019-’20.
The grant is one of the first round of projects approved through the $102 million trust.
Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister and Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires announced the grant awards April 15.
“By establishing this endowed trust, Manitoba is setting an incredible forward-thinking precedent to fund conservation in Canada,” Dr. Scott Petrie, chief executive officer of Delta Waterfowl, said in a press release. “We are pleased and honored to receive this generous funding for Hen Houses and our duck production programs. This grant will certainly benefit Manitobans, as well as many hunters farther down the flyways.”
The Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corp., a special operating provincial agency focused on conservation in Manitoba, selected the projects.
“Funding from the Conservation Trust will help Manitoba conservation organizations tackle important projects and create added environmental benefits for all Manitobans,” said Tim Sopuck, chief executive officer of the MHHC. “The Conservation Trust offers a lasting approach that will fund conservation, and will inspire new ideas and projects that may not have been possible until now.”
Hen Houses, which are used primarily by mallards, are wire nesting cylinders placed over water in small wetlands. Delta focuses nest structures in wetland areas with limited nesting cover where predators such as raccoons, skunks and red foxes can easily find duck nests in sparse patches of grass. Research has shown that mallards using Hen Houses in some intensely farmed regions of Canada are 12 times more likely to hatch a nest than those nesting in the grass. Delta currently has more than 8,000 Hen Houses in the United States and Canada, which produce about 40,000 hatched ducklings annually.
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Realtree waterfowl editor Brian Lovett has been an obsessive duck and goose hunter for more than 30 years, chasing his passion on the Dakota prairies and the marshes and open water of his home state of Wisconsin. He's been a writer and editor in the outdoors industry since 1991.