FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2010
Ducks Unlimited and Wilmington High School Partner on Wood Duck Project
Students volunteer their time to provide nesting habitat
WILMINGTON, OH – Ducks Unlimited (DU) and students from Wilmington High School braved cold weather in late February to help with maintenance on wood duck nesting boxes according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. The boxes located at Cowan Lake State Park were in need of yearly repairs and cleaning. Three new boxes were constructed and installed at the south end of the lake as well bringing the total to 25 nest boxes.
Wood ducks nest in tree cavities in or near forested wetlands, beaver ponds, and wooded rivers. The nesting boxes are built to imitate these natural tree cavities. These artificial nesting structures, when properly placed and maintained, are a useful wood duck management tool.
Once abundant throughout the state, Ohio’s wood duck population was reduced dramatically by the 1930s due to destruction of their woodland habitats. Thanks to aggressive management practices such as the erection of many nesting boxes, the wood duck population in Ohio has rebounded and wood ducks are now the most numerous breeding ducks in the state.
The nest boxes at Cowan Lake were constructed from 10” diameter fiberglass tubes approximately 2 feet in length. They are secured to metal post in the lake. Placing the boxes over the water provides excellent protection from predators that often threaten nest in tree cavities.
Upon completion of the project a lunch was provided by DU volunteers. The students seemed to have an enjoyable time despite long walks, deep snow and cold temperatures. The Division of Wildlife and DU plan to organize similar projects annually. Workers present for the day included; Clinton County Wildlife Officer Matt Roberts, DU Clinton County Chapter, Tracy Burns, Darin Conrad, Don Corsbie, Gary and Robin Massie, Scott and Kim Spears, and Wilmington High School science teachers Joe Gigandet, and John Williams along with 26 of their students.
Ducks Unlimited, is the largest and most effective wetland conservation organization in the world. Since the inception of Ducks Unlimited in 1937, their projects have been responsible for over 12.6 million acres of restored, protected, and enhanced wetlands. In Ohio there are over 300 DU projects conserving more than 74,000 acres of both wetland and upland habitat. Wetlands are nature’s most productive ecosystems. The United States has lost more than half of its original wetlands and continues to lose more than 70,000 wetland acres each year. If you are interested in learning more about Ducks Unlimited and their mission visit (http://www.ducks.org/).
The Division of Wildlife offers instructions for building wood duck and other bird nesting boxes. Download the plans at www.wildohio.com or call 1-800-WILDLIFE to request a copy of Publication 419.