Federal Duck Stamp

Jennifer Miller is the winner of the 2015-2016 Federal Duck Stamp, with her acrylic painting of a pair of Ruddy Ducks. The stamp was issued June 26th, 2015, and was the first Federal Duck Stamp to have a $25.00 denomination.

Where do your duck stamp dollars go? Here’s a breakdown (PDF file) showing how much of every National Wildlife Refuge was purchased with Duck Stamp funds as part of the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.

About the Federal Duck Stamp Program

Why it’s not “just a stamp”

The Federal Duck Stamp Program has played a critical role in the preservation of wetlands and entire ecosystems for flora and fauna alike. Started in 1934, the program has since generated more than $900 million, which has gone on to purchase or lease over 6.5 million acres of wetlands habitat in the United States. Best known are our National Wildlife Refuges, over 500 of which were partially or entirely funded by the Program, and into which a current Federal Duck Stamp may also be used as an entrance pass.

The ecosystems preserved through the Federal Duck Stamp Program are invaluable to endangered species. In the United States, approximately one in three threatened species depend on rapidly dwindling wetland habitats. Wetlands also provide immense benefit to people as well; in addition to many forms of enjoyable recreation, wetlands are known to retain excess runoff during flooding events and greatly reduce soil erosion, lessening the overall impact of floods. Furthermore, wetlands are natural filters which remove sediment and pollutants, and they help clean and recharge groundwater supplies.

By protecting huge areas and raising awareness, it is small wonder that the Federal Duck Stamp Program is viewed as one of the most important and effective habitat conservation efforts in history.

About Ruddy Ducks

The Ruddy Duck (Oxyura jamaicensis) is a small stiff-tailed diving duck, native to the Americas. Courting males wear bold plumage in black, white, and cinnamon-red. Their sky-blue bill is perhaps their most distinctive feature. Females are mottled brown, cream, and white. They are personable ducks, and the male’s display involves striking his bill against his neck to create a froth of bubbles while holding his tail aloft. Interestingly, these little ducks often seem to feed most actively at night, consuming aquatic vegetation, seeds, and invertebrates. Ruddy ducks can be located in varying populations throughout much of North America, and prefer to breed in the Prairie Pothole region. Conservation of these sensitive areas will be very important to the future of Ruddy Ducks as well as other waterfowl.