Monday, October 22, 2007

Ruddy ducks!

Here's a rather nice Caribbean duck, one I occasionally get to see pottering about on the salt pond, the Ruddy Duck. Except, and its a big except, this photo (which is a bit grainy due to its been taken through my old set up which wasn't so nice) wasn't taken in the Caribbean. Its a photo of a completely wild, naturalised bird at the London Wetlands Centre in London.

ruddy duck

These beautiful little chaps are/were understandably popular with the sort of folk who kept wildfowl collections and as with other ducks I've featured (and the A-team) they promptly escaped. Unlike the Mandarins however the population of 6,000 odd Ruddies we ended up with in the UK do cause problems. Maybe. It seems they probably interbreed with an endangered European Duck and may cause its extinction and so whilst I was able to take this picture a year and a half ago by now this duck and others like it will have been culled across the UK. Its very sad and I'm sure all involved wish it could be avoided - unfortunately it seems there is no way to avoid it and save the white-headed duck. The best thing we can do is be aware of the problems invasive species cause and try and avoid future such problems before they occur by not releasing non-natives.

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