As part of Benelli's ongoing partnerships with wildlife conservation groups to help save wild habitat and expand wildlife populations, the company has begun work with the California Waterfowl Association (CWA) to raise funds for the organization's new and existing conservation initiatives.
Termed the "Benelli Challenge," this conservation initiative seeks to increase new donations to help fund specific waterfowl programs the association is focused on for 2023. These include:
California Wood Duck Program
CWA staff, members and volunteers build, maintain, and monitor wood duck nest boxes all over the state, resulting in nearly 1 million ducklings hatched since the inception of the program. The only North American duck that produces two broods every year, the duck gets its name from its nesting preferences. These ducks nest in trees over or near water, from which the ducklings jump after hatching. This makes the nest-box program exceptionally important for these beautiful birds, as natural nesting cavities can be few and far between.
California Waterfowl contributes to waterfowl research by banding as many as 9,000 ducks a year.
Egg Salvage Program
California Waterfowl partners with wildlife-friendly farmers to salvage duck nests from their fields prior to normal farming operations that might destroy nests. This is especially important to protect early-nesting ducks.
Delayed Wheat Harvest Incentive Program
This program provides incentives for farmers to delay wheat harvest long enough to let ducklings hatch naturally and leave the field with their mothers.
Rice Levee Program
California Waterfowl’s Rice Levee Pilot Program pays rice farmers to provide waterfowl nesting habitat on their levees during the spring and summer. As one of ducks' favorite treats, this partnership with rice farmers promises to yield dividends.
The benefit of the Benelli challenge does not all go to the wildlife, however. As part of the Benelli Challenge, donors who gift the CWA $10,000 or more receive either a 12- or 20-guage Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 shotgun in Realtree Max 5 camo.
“The additional support and commitment to California Waterfowl’s conservation efforts have been nothing short of tremendous," said Scott Mueller, vice president of fund & membership development for the CWA. "The opportunity to partner with an industry leader like Benelli has ensured our ability to offer additional conservation efforts to achieve a California with thriving waterfowl populations. This spring, vital waterfowl programs like the Egg Salvage Program, Delayed Wheat Harvest Incentive Program, as well as our new Rice Levee Program will support even more local nesting waterfowl than ever before. Benelli has really helped make an impact in combatting declining populations of California’s waterfowl.”
Thus far, the Benelli Challenge has raised $210,000 for CWA's impacted waterfowl programs. For more information on Benelli, check out benelliusa.com. For more on the CWA and its conservation initiatives, visit calwaterfowl.org.