Livingston Ripley
Waterfowl Conservancy

Protecting waterfowl and their habitats through research, education and conservation action




Livingston Ripley
Waterfowl Conservancy

Protecting waterfowl and their habitats through research, education and conservation action


The Collection

Overview: The LRWC houses one of the largest and most diverse collections of waterfowl in North America. The collection is managed under a strategic plan which integrates the captive breeding facility with the goals of our programs in research, conservation and education. Over 60 species of Anseriformes are maintained at LRWC, including representatives from all of the major Anatidae sub-families.


LRWC Collection Plan: The LRWC collection plan outlines the purpose of each species of waterfowl maintained at LRWC. Last updated in 2012, the collection plan identifies a series of themed groups of waterfowl maintained to support educational outreach, enhance visitor experience and provide opportunities for behavioral and ecological research involving captive waterfowl. Species compatability and tolerance of the New England climate are two important considerations of the collection plan. In addition, all species must be included in at least one of the following themed groups:

Ducks of Connecticut: Native waterfowl are excellent education species as they provide visitors opportunity to experience the diversity among native waterfowl. Carvers, photographers and other artists seek native waterfowl for reference. Education opportunities also can include waterfowl identification seminars or events for sportsmen, wildlife officers, rehabilitators, and the general public. 

Threatened and Endangered Species:
The collection of rare, threatened and endangered species serves several purposes at LRWC. Maintaining genetically diverse populations in captivity provides a viable source of individuals for future reintroduction programs. Captive flocks also provide opportunity for behavioral and ecological research of species that are rare in the wild. In addition, these species enhance education programs that highlight the plight of waterfowl species throughout the world, with a focus on the need to conserve wetland and other habitats.

Diversity of Waterfowl: The natural diversity among the waterfowl makes them ideal candidates for education programs designed to promote conservation awareness. With great variation in feeding styles, appearance, behavior, and habitat requirements, a well-represented collection of species that exhibit such diversity is attractive to all users of the LRWC.

Sea Ducks:The large and diverse group of sea ducks is poorly studied because of their remote breeding and wintering habitats.  Most sea ducks breed in the arctic tundra and winter in salt water habitats. Attractive and vocal, the sea ducks are an endearing group of waterfowl that not only attract researchers, but also serve as wonderful education and awareness species. Sea ducks are difficult to maintain in captivity due to their specific habitat and dietary requirements. LRWC is one of the few organizations in North America that maintains and breeds sea ducks.  

LRWC First Captive Breeding Accomplishments: Dillon Ripley’s interest in waterfowl and the captive preservation of many species led to the first North American breeding results for eight species and two subspecies of waterfowl. The majority of these species currently are considered to be threatened in the wild. LRWC maintains many of the species that were first bred in captivity by Dillon Ripley, as a tribute to his dedication towards establishing captive populations of vulnerable waterfowl.


American Common Eider

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55 Duck Pond Road, P.O. Box 210, Litchfield, Connecticut 06759


Phone: 860.567.2062 / Fax: 860.567.4369/