Proposed Change to Duck Stamp Design Aims to Raise More Money for Conservation

Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service holds a contest to determine a new design for the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, otherwise known as the Duck Stamp. Artists from across the country submit designs in hopes that their entry will appear on the millions of Duck Stamps sold that year. This year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a change to the Duck Stamp regulations requiring the depiction of a secondary migratory bird species in the design. Earlier this week, the Refuge Association submitted comments in support of this change to appeal to a wider range of conservationists and generate more funds to conserve critical wetland and grassland habitat.

Joseph Hautman's wood duck design won the 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Contest | USFWS
Joseph Hautman’s wood duck design won the 2011 Federal Duck Stamp Contest | USFWS

An average of 1.7 million Duck Stamps are sold annually, and 98 cents of every Duck Stamp dollar goes directly into the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. The Duck Stamp has become one of the most successful conservation programs in the country, generating more than $950 million for the conservation of more than eight million acres of wetland and grassland habitat since its creation in 1934.

The land conserved with Duck Stamp dollars does not only benefit waterfowl, but also hundreds of other species that call national wildlife refuges home. In fact, 27 national wildlife refuges have been purchased entirely with Migratory Bird Conservation Fund dollars, and another 150 have had more than half their lands purchased with these funds.

Just as refuge lands benefit more than just ducks, many refuge visitors have more than ducks in mind when they visit their local refuges. Refuges established with Duck Stamp funds provide opportunities for a diverse array of recreational uses including hunting, fishing, photography, wildlife observation, environmental education and interpretation.

The Refuge Association strongly supports the addition of a secondary species in the artwork of the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp with the goal of selling more stamps and securing more habitat for our shared wildlife heritage. This proposed changes could ultimately bring in more wildlife artists, waterfowl hunters, bird watchers and other Americans who buy the Stamp, support the Refuge System, and, most importantly, conserve the birds and other wildlife depending on us to secure wetland and grassland habitat for their survival.


The 2016 Federal Duck Stamp Contest will be held on September 9-10 at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.refugeassociation.org/2016/03/proposed-change-to-duck-stamp-design-aims-to-raise-more-money-for-conservation/


  1. Albert Honican says:

    So important please soon as possible.

  2. Meg Ruby, M.S. says:

    Great idea. I support this wholeheartedly!

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