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Bill Higgins of Ellenbrook says residents are angry and upset domestic ducks have been removed from Wood Lake and then destroyed. Illustration: LIZ ROWLANDS

Anger over destroyed ducks

ELLENBROOK residents who live near Wood Lake are angry and upset about the disappearance of domesticated ducks from the lake.

Bill Higgins said in about mid-October he understands the City of Swan hired a pest control company to remove domesticated ducks from the lake.

Then on Sunday, October 29 all lighting was cut in the park and some more ducks were removed from the lake.

He was told all the ducks were destroyed.

This week City of Swan chief executive officer Mike Foley said the city recently arranged for the removal of three domestic ducks from Wood Lake as they were beginning to impact the health of the lake, as well as the local environment and native flora and fauna.

“It is the city’s priority to encourage and preserve native wildlife and habitat and ensure that the bird life is sustainable.”

On Thursday morning the city confirmed Wood Lake is a man-made lake.

Mr Foley said the city’s preferred method was always to trap and relocate ducks, where possible.

“Unfortunately, the city’s attempts to trap and relocate the birds were not successful this time around and it was necessary for the city to undertake a cull.

“Culling is undertaken discretely and humanely in a manner that does not impact public safety or risk public exposure.

“Trapping relies on the ducks attraction to the food that is used as bait and the city believes the regular community duck feeding at this location played a role in the lack of success in trapping the ducks.’’

Resident Ewan Trott said he was aware of two lots of domesticated ducks being dumped in the car park.

Mr Trott said 11 ducks had been left there about four years ago.

He said residents had contacted the rangers and the RSPCA to no avail and after watching the domesticated ducks starving to death as they didn’t know how to survive people had started feeding them wheat.

He said about nine to 11 months ago 13 more domesticated ducks had been dumped there.

Some of the ducks have mated with the wild ducks which also use the lake but the hybrid ducks had adapted well to the conditions.

Mr Trott said one solution to the problem could be installing CCTV cameras in the car park because that was where people went when they were going to leave the ducks.

Mr Higgins said everyone he had spoken to were upset about the domesticated ducks being removed and angry they were then destroyed.

He said if the ducks had to be removed it should be done humanely and only if they couldn’t be re-homed.

Mr Foley said the city had engaged with interested residents regarding the situation during the past 18-24 months.

“While the city understands  this is a matter of interest to the local community, the city must undertake actions which support the preservation of the natural environment and native species,’’ he said.

“The city is currently seeking advice regarding the environmental impact of hybrid species on Wood Lake.”

He said the city had erected signage advising people to not feed the ducks and would be installing further signs which provided educational information about the impacts of this activity.

For information about the effects of feeding water birds visit  https://www.swan.wa.gov.au/Services-support/Sustainable-living/Conserve-nature/Animals/Water-birds

By Anita McInnes

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

One comment

  1. If the City couldn’t trap the ducks maybe Mr Foley can tell us how they were culled.

    Mr Foley said the city had engaged with interested residents regarding the situation during the past 18-24 months. Obviously not all interested residents.

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