Stamp collectors, conservationists, birders, and waterfowl hunters: the 2008 Arizona Duck Stamp is now available

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August 6th, 2008

Stamp collectors, conservationists, birders,
and waterfowl hunters: the 2008 Arizona
Duck Stamp is now available

By Doug Burt, public information officer, Arizona Game and Fish Department

Although ill-advised, some folks like to take their day-old-bread to the park and feed them, however, there is a better way you can support waterfowl – buy a state duck stamp.

The 2008 Arizona Waterfowl stamp is on sale now. This year’s stamp features a majestic pair of swimming canvasbacks. The art was created by the 2006-2007 Federal Duck Stamp winner Sherrie Russell Meline.

The Arizona duck stamp is a conservation stamp for raising funds to benefit Arizona’s waterfowl and waterfowl habitat, similar to the Federal Duck Stamp Program. Now in its 21st year, some of the investments from the program have resulted in amazing resting grounds for wintering sandhill cranes, geese and waterfowl.

On a larger scale, a portion of the funding is sent to Canada with a bonus. For every dollar the state donates, it increases by four, and in some cases, even eight times the value, due to matching funds from Ducks Unlimited, Canada, and the North American Wetland Conservation Act.

Although these matching dollars are great, unfortunately, increased urbanization and modernization have caused a significant decrease in stamp revenues over the last few years. Nearly 90 percent of duck stamps are purchased by hunters, and Arizona has fewer duck hunters today than it had a decade ago. If this downward trend continues, a primary funding source for restoring, enhancing, and acquiring wetland habitat in Arizona will dry up.

Oddly, the misconception is that duck stamps, both state and federal, are only for waterfowl hunters. While it is true hunters are required to have the state duck stamp, the truth is, all citizens benefit from the increase in wildlife and habitat purchased by this conservation effort. Wetland habitats are important for lots of birds in Arizona, not just waterfowl. Rails, shorebirds, herons, Ibis, and many other spectacular birds depend on wetland habitats. The state duck stamp benefits them all.

If you enjoy wildlife watching, birding or just beautiful wetland landscapes – show your support and buy an Arizona State Duck Stamp – the cost is only $8.75.

Then, take a youngster out to learn about waterfowl, wetlands, migration, and the Arizona outdoors.

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