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


Current Conservation Projects


Marbled Teal Survival Plan

The Marbled Teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris) is a small monotypic species with characteristics intermediate between the dabbling duck genus Anas and the diving ducks in the genus Aythya. Wild populations of this intriguing species have declined dramatically due to wetland drainage, habitat degradation and illegal hunting. The remaining suitable habitat for the species is fragmented between the Mediterranean, north Africa, and south-western Asia. The species is currently listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with an estimated world population of 50,000 birds.

The Conservancy is an active participant in a national survival plan for the Marbled Teal. The program is a cooperative management plan that works to ensure a healthy and genetically viable population of Marbled Teal within North American zoological facilities. This viable population of birds can be utilized for survival breeding and species recovery programs. LRWC maintains two separate groups of genetically valuable Marbled Teal of different bloodlines distinct from those commonly found in the United States. As requested by the survival plan we provide birds to fellow conservation facilities to improve the long-term vitality of their Marbled Teal flocks.



Trumpeter Swan Reintroduction Program

The Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) is the largest species of native waterfowl in North America.  Standing over four feet tall with a wing span of seven feet or more, these impressive birds were once fairly common throughout much of the North America.   By the early 1900's Trumpeter Swans had declined to the brink of extinction due to market hunting and the millinery trade.

The successful recovery of wild Trumpeter Swan populations to mid-west North America is a conservation success story attributed to coordinated captive breeding and reintroduction programs overseen by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and managed through state wildlife agencies.  Successful reintroduction programs have occurred in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio.

LRWC is a Conservation Partner with the Iowa Trumpeter Swan Restoration Project managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.  Starting in 2006, LRWC has provided trumpeter swans by providing cygnets and adult swans for release and foster parenting.


Duck Box Program

The Conservancy maintains more than fifty duck nesting boxes situated in suitable wetlands around the Litchfield area. Intended to serve as nest sites for two of Connecticut's cavity-nesting ducks, Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) and Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus), the boxes are also used by a variety of other wildlife including Eastern Screech Owls and flying squirrels.

The next boxes were constructed by students at Wamogo High School in Litchfield and the Connecticut Waterfowler's Association. Installation and maintenance comes from Conservancy staff and volunteers from Litchfield Hills Junior Audubon and students at Litchfield High School.


Each box is inspected during the winter months to determine usage and nesting success.  Student volunteers keep track of species usage by identifying feathers and shell fragments Nest success is determined by inspecting hatched egg membranes. Volunteers also inspect the boxes for damage, remove completed nests and replace the pine shavings used as nesting material.


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


Phone: 860.567.2062 / Fax: 860.567.4369/