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Conserve a Flyway

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Countless thousands of winged wanderers need places to rest and refuel as they commute between Canadian breeding grounds and wintering habitats in the United States and Central and South America. Their survival depends on the health of each stopover along the way.

En route from our Arctic shores to the distant coast of Suriname, innumerable semipalmated sandpipers partake in an all-you-can-eat feeding frenzy of aquatic invertebrates on the sprawling mud-flats of the Bay of Fundy. The marshy inlets of southern Saskatchewan’s Last Mountain Lake offer the endangered whooping crane a welcome break from its nearly 4,000-kilometre trek between Wood Buffalo National Park in the Northwest Territories and Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas coast. And for thousands of trumpeter swans coming down from the Yukon and Alaska, the wet fields and estuaries of British Columbia’s southern coast are a winter oasis.

Sad to say, the coastal and inland habitats most important to these avian migrants are often those hardest hit by human activities. The loss of a single stopover could mean many birds never reach their destinations. You can keep them on track by conserving migratory habitats near and far.