Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Ruddy Ducks and UK White-headed Ducks

A rebel without a clue, the Ruddy Duck was introduced in innocence from North America to the UK and has done well. They are not exactly abundant, but the numbers have reached a state that they have wandered over to Spain and bred with the threatened White-headed Duck, compromising the gene pool. The result? Ruddy Ducks will be exterminated from Europe (especially the UK).
Enjoy them while you can.
There have been quite a few White-headed Ducks in the UK this year. Some argue for wild origin, others that they have escaped. Either way they may potentially breed with Ruddy Ducks in the UK (as they are the main stifftails they will meet). Result? Sexually-capable hybrid birds in our population which could potentially go to Spain and compromise the gene pool still further.
The horrible logical conclusion is surely that as long as there is a significant Ruddy Duck population over here, White-headed Ducks found in the UK, whether wild or not, should be exterminated.

The handsome drake, Welland Bank Pits, Lincs, 17.7.04.

The less handsome, though no less charming, female, Welland Bank Pits, Lincs, 17.7.04.

Goodbye, stifftail...

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