The Pacific Black Duck Conservation Group will be continuing our efforts to assist Glenorchy City Council and the City of Hobart in removing a large feral population of dumped domestic ducks and Pacific black duck x mallard hybrids from Newtown Rivulet.
GCC and Hobart City are planning a rivulet rehabilitation project that would restore the rivulet into a more natural landscape, improving water quality and providing habitat for native species, including native waterbirds. It could potentially create an urban refuge for pure PBDs. In order for this to work, the current large flock of feral domestic ducks need to be removed. This is where we can help!
Glenorchy City Council has recently completed a successful feral goose relocation program in the Lutana section of Newtown Rivulet. Using a temporary construction-site fencing enclosure, almost all of the dumped feral geese in the rivulet are now living on a farm in the Huon Valley.
The GCC have given the PBDCG permission to use this enclosure for a few weeks before they move it to another location with a dumped goose problem. The GCC have kindly attached roof netting, and without the geese present we are aiming to remove as many domestic ducks and PBD x Mallard hybrids as possible.
The earlier we can start the better, thinking a 7am start to be done and dusted long before any feeders come along but happy with whatever time suits the majority. If the ducks aren't hungry (people commonly dump lettuce and other foods here) they are much less likely to enter the enclosure.
The working bee will involve placing some lure food (oats are best) into the enclosure and waiting until a large number of ducks are inside. The ducks will then be contained inside and then caught by hand and placed into pet packs and wildlife containers for transport.
If interested in helping out, we need:
-Catchers (quick training can be organised prior to trapping if interested (It’s just like picking up a chunky chicken but with webbed feet instead of claws).
-Transporters – If we remove a large number, we may need an extra car or two for transporting to the donation point. We have a wildlife rehabilitator in Kingborough who is keen for large numbers to feed to animals in their care, so anybody who could help transport that way would be very helpful!
-Feeders – dropping oats into the enclosure on the day.
-Pre-feeders - If unable/not keen on the removing side of things, having food dropped into the back of the enclosure on days leading up to removals is very helpful in keeping ducks used to the enclosure.
We also need pet packs/cardboard boxes/ventilated plastic containers etc. If able to loan any containers these will be returned either on the day or asap afterwards.
There are still 6 feral geese at this location and a Mallard x Muscovy duck hybrid. They are wary of the enclosure now, but if they happen to be in the enclosure when it's closed for mallards, these will be taken to an animal rescue organisation. Mallard x Muscovy hybrids are infertile so are good candidates for rehoming as fre-ranging pets as there is no impact to native species through cross-breeding.
Any feral mallard or hybrid ducks we remove will be transported to wildlife sanctuaries, private wildlife rehabilitators and endangered species breeding programs and will be euthanised humanely following current Tasmanian animal welfare guidelines by trained volunteers. They will then be able to be provided as food to endangered Tasmanian devils, quolls and birds of prey. We do not support the relocation of mallards and hybrids, as this just moves the hybridisation problem further afield. It would be less damaging for PBDs for leave the mallards where they are. The more animals that can be removed humanely, the less that need to be removed by less humane methods by contractors. To be clear, no animals are ever being euthanised on site and no volunteer is expected to help in any way they’re not comfortable with.
If anybody wants to come and take any captured domestic ducks or geese home, you are most welcome and your assistance would be greatly appreciated!
October 19, -0021 at 7:00am - 9am
Pacific Black Duck Conservation Group