Summary of Alberta Waterfowl Crop Damage Prevention Program 2008
The Waterfowl Crop Damage Prevention Program (WCDPP) provides assistance to Alberta grain producers in reducing or preventing damage to cereal crops caused by waterfowl during the fall migration period. Damage prevention is accomplished through provision of alternate feed for waterfowl at feeding stations and lure crops, provision of waterfowl scaring equipment for producers to borrow free‐of‐charge, and waterfowl scaring advice available through print media, the internet and WCDP coordinators.
Alberta Conservation Association (ACA), Environment Canada (EC) and Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (ASRD) collaboratively plan the WCDPP; ACA delivers the program, while program funding has been traditionally cost‐shared between ACA and EC.
In 2008/09, EC was unable to commit to cost‐sharing of the WCDPP prior to implementation of program activities. Consequently, ACA delivered a modified program that provided scare cannons through distribution centres, but did not operate waterfowl feeding stations. One exception was a lure crop planted near Prouty Lake. This crop was planted in April 2008, prior to program modification, and therefore was swathed and used as a lure crop. We estimated 350 bushels of barley were consumed providing 33,600 days of duck feeding.
Scaring equipment was available for producers to borrow at 46 locations throughout the white zone (settled area) of Alberta. Scare cannon distribution centres operated for an average of 82 days. We loaned a total of 144 cannons to 75 landowners for use on at least 128 different quarter sections of land. Thirty‐five percent of landowners who borrowed scare cannons agreed to allow their contact information to be provided to waterfowl hunters. We provided scare cannon request information to waterfowl enthusiasts through weekly updates on an ACA waterfowl web page.