'They are a nuisance': Florida city votes to remove invasive ducks labeled aggressive, destructive
WINTER PARK, Fla. - Muscovy ducks are black-and-white with red around their eyes. The Winter Park City Commission voted unanimously Wednesday for a measure to send them packing.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission (FWC) classifies Muscovy ducks as invasive. Trapper Isaac Rempe says the birds are aggressive and destructive. For example, the waste they leave behind.
"Their droppings create algae blooms," he said, "they go to the bathroom as they fly and roost. We can also see problems in sidewalks and swimming pools where they cause bacterial issues. Animals eating this are getting sick."
City officials said they're also extremely territorial, once they've built their nests.
"They are a nuisance, they are aggressive. We've had reports where the ducks have been charging at small children, and pets, and showing aggression at that stage," said Gloria Eby, Winter Park's Director of Natural Resources and Sustainability.
FWC said the ducks bully Florida’s native birds away from their food sources while also breeding with them.
"When we see Muscovy ducks mixing with swans, geese, even our pecans which we see on farms, it can create a lot of issues, not only with them bullying and domineering other native species out of food, but also corrupting the gene pool within the native species," Rempe said.
The city said they will contract with trappers to relocate the birds to a facility where they can live, but keep them from escaping. People visiting the city's parks say removing them is a good idea.
"They do harass other animals, other ducks, things like that," said Rachel Snider, who was visiting the city’s parks.