WINTER PARK, Fla. – The city of Winter Park approved a Muscovy duck removal program at its commission meeting on Wednesday.
Former Winter Park resident Henry Ho said the ducks were a nuisance when he lived there, adding that he had a few encounters with the ducks.
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“Yeah, they weren’t aggressive, but I think they suffer from their ugly appearance,” Ho said. “I mean, if they were a beautiful bird, there would probably be less reaction against them.”
The Muscovy duck is considered an invasive species, though some residents feel the removal program may be unnecessary.
“I don’t know how vicious these things really are, but how vicious could a duck really be?” asked Winter Park resident Logan Laughlin.
The removal program is for city property and includes public education, habitat modification, active removal and re-establishment of native species.
Director of Natural Resources and Sustainability Gloria Eby said officials plan to hire an experienced trapper to humanely relocate the ducks to a different facility to prevent escape.
“There’s multiple options that’s out there. There’s a very huge program in south Florida where they just come out, throw the net, catch the net, and it causes a lot of trauma for the birds,” Eby said. “We’re opting out of that.”
Officials said the ducks are also responsible for the pollution of Lake Knowles and the displacement of native species.
“It’s so polluted, and this is the number one reason why that lake is polluted,” said Seat 4 City Commissioner Todd Weaver. “These ducks multiply and push out native wildlife... people that want to feed ducks, we want them to feed native ducks. These are not native.”
City officials suggested that anyone with a Muscovy duck problem on their property should hire their own trapper. Click here to head to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioner’s website and find a trapper near you.
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