The 34th Canadian wildlife habitat conservation stamp and print featuring the wood duck (Aix sponsa) was issued by Wildlife Habitat Canada (WHC) earlier this month.
The 2018 WHC conservation stamp was designed by Pierre Girard, of Sorel-Tracy, Qué., a veteran artist. His painting, entitled Autumn Colors – Wood Duck puts the spotlight on the species by depicting “three peaceful wood ducks on a tree trunk emerging from the water on a foggy morning.”
“As far as I can remember, I have always admired theses exquisite ducks with their somewhat surreal plumage and their high-pitched cry, resonating in the morning mist,” said Girard. “This painting depicts a peaceful scene, a privileged moment for the observer, an explosion of colours and beauty.”
Funding for the WHC’s grant program comes from the sale of the Canadian wildlife habitat conservation stamp and other related products. Like the U.S. federal duck stamp (officially known as the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation stamp), the Canadian duck stamp was created to raise funds for conservation efforts across Canada.
Since 1985, all hunters have been legally required to affix a Canadian duck stamp to their migratory game bird hunting permits. The price of the duck stamp is $8.50 (a price that has remained the same since 1991).
“The permit is the license – or dare I say the tax – on the people to regulate the activity, and the stamp is a part of that,” said WHC Executive Director Cameron Mack, who added it’s “one of the few activities in Canada where funding is collected and earmarked for conservation.”
“With the stamp, the money goes directly to Wildlife Habitat Canada under legislation and is used strictly for conservation activities.”
Aside from waterfowl hunters validating their permits, the Canadian duck stamp is also purchased by philatelists and individuals interested in contributing to the conservation, restoration and enhancement of Canada’s wildlife habitat.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
From a young age, Girard drew the wildlife that surrounded him. A lover of nature, he has been reproducing it as faithfully as possible since 1987. His work gives him the opportunity to communicate the importance of preserving the wildlife and its environment. A self-taught artist, he loves the outdoors, where he can go backpacking to fuel his passion for nature.
Inspired by the beautiful landscapes and contrasting colours, Girard paints animal life with the sole objective of reproducing every movement and every glance. In his paintings, he places a great deal of importance on habitat and the environment.
He previously illustrated two stamps for the Quebec Wildlife Foundation—the Blue Jay (2001) and Snow Geese (2009). In 2010, Pierre’s green-winged teal painting appeared on WHC’s Canadian wildlife habitat conservation stamp.”
WILDLIFE HABITAT CANADA
Established in 1984, WHC is a national non-profit and non-governmental charitable organization. Its grant program – founded one year after the organization was created – has invested about $55 million in support of more than 1,500 conservation projects across Canada.
“It varies year to year, but annually, but the organization funds upwards of 35 conservation activities across the country, whether it’s fixing a wetland; wetland or waterfall research projects; or promoting environmental stewardship and a connection with nature,” said Mack.