Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, commonly known as “duck stamps”, are produced by the U.S. Postal Service for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Originally created as federal licenses for hunting migratory waterfowl, Federal Duck Stamps are also popular as works of art. A current Federal Duck Stamp is also acts as a valid entrance pass into National Wildlife Refuges.
According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, ninety-eight cents of every dollar generated by the sales of Federal Duck Stamps goes directly to purchase or lease wetland habitat for protection in the National Wildlife Refuge System. Since 1934, the sales of Federal Duck Stamps have generated more than $750 million, which has been used to help purchase or lease over 5.3 million acres of waterfowl habitat. Land acquired becomes part of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System.
In addition to waterfowl, many forms of wildlife benefit from the sale of Federal Duck Stamps. A wide range of bird, mammal, fish, reptile, and amphibian species are found in wetland habitats. An estimated one-third of the Nation’s endangered and threatened species live or visit refuges established using Federal Duck Stamp funds.
Refuge properties provide limited hunting opportunities. Outdoor enthusiasts use refuge lands to hike, enjoy bird watching, and explore nature. Protected wetlands also help purify water supplies, store flood water, reduce soil erosion, and provide spawning areas for fish and other aquatic life.