Thank you for not Feeding the Ducks

Along with other southern Councils, Kingborough is discouraging the community from feeding ducks to support healthier waterways and wildlife.

Kingborough Mayor, Paula Wriedt said many people didn’t realise that by feeding ducks, they were negatively impacting our native species of ducks.

“Native ducks face threats from introduced water birds like mallard ducks and geese, through competition and crossbreeding, or hybridisation,” Cr Wriedt said.

“It seems harmless thing to do and like many of us I have grown up feeding ducks but now I understand that this habit has negative outcomes for our native duck population.

“Feeding ducks can cause deformities in them as well as other health problems, waterway pollution, and increases crossbreeding.

“Duck feeding can also encourage them into unsafe areas near roads.

“Native ducks have highly specialised diets and rely on these diets to get the right nutrients.

“Encouraging ducks to congregate makes it harder for our smaller, timid native species to exist in the same areas as the introduced species.

“Native Pacific Black Ducks are in danger of becoming extinct through crossbreeding with domestic mallards.

“Feeding ducks and encouraging them into the same area is increasing this issue.

“To promote this message Council ran a successful education session for community members at Balmoral Road Reserve on the weekend, which is a popular duck feeding spot.

“Over 50 people came to learn more about native ducks and how to help look after them.

“Community members were able to find out valuable information from Council’s Natural Areas Interpretation Officer, Bridget Jupe who promoted healthier ways to interact with ducks.

“Instead of feeding ducks, we encourage people to enjoy watching them and their funny antics as well as trying to spot all of our 11 species of native ducks,” Ms Jupe said.

“Most people were surprised to hear about why they shouldn’t be feeding the ducks and really open to changing their habits to improve duck health.

“On the day we had the expertise of Jason Graham, from the Pacific Black Duck Conservation Group who helped the community observe the different species, including the cross breeds.

“The best way to help our native ducks is to simply let them find their own water and food, this way we are not encouraging more introduced species to breed.”