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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

It's a Ruddy shame

The government are claiming that 4,400 Ruddy Ducks have been culled over the past 5 years and that numbers are now down to 120.

The cull is taking place because experts believe that the Ruddy Duck (an escaped introduction from North America) is threatening the endangered white-headed Duck.

Junior environment minister, Richard Benyon, said:

Defra considers the programme to date has been very effective. We remain committed to continuing the eradication programme through to completion.

Alas the RSPB and WWT support the cull. According to the RSPB's David Hoccom:

It is very sad that such measures are necessary, but we expect the white-headed duck's future to be more secure as a result.

The white-headed duck has undergone a rapid worldwide decline over the last decade, making extinction a real possibility.

I can't really comment on the science, where many argue that without a European side cull its pretty pointless, but I'll miss the little chappy they are such a happy looking bird. The curious thing is that if two Northern American birds flew over that would be nature and the cull would have never happened.


holdingmoments said...

Such a shame Pete. It's hardly the ducks fault, that someone introduced it over here.
And from what I understand very few; single figures, actually go overseas from here, to where the White-headed Duck is.

ShySongbird said...

Keith's said it for me!!

Tricia said...

Keith's said it for me too... and I feel that evolution should be allowed to... evolve!

Pete said...

@Trish. in defence of the RSPB et al the Ruddy Duck shouldn't have got here. As I said IF it had made it unders it own steam.....

I personally take an unscientific view !

Tricia said...

Pete - I agree it shouldn't have got here and things would have been different if it had found it's own way here ... always a bit of a dilemma this one..

But I do find the duck rather entertaining... and sorry when any wildlife has to be eliminated....