A northern Illawarra resident says she can save families of native ducks from being exterminated by Wollongong City Council.
Council contractors have been trapping the native wood ducks at Helensburgh and Corrimal pools, with a plan to kill them after they’re caught.
It’s happening because council said the birds had been becoming territorial and their defacation in the pools was becoming a health risk.
Appalled by this, northern suburbs resident Deborah Short has spoken up, offering that council can bring the ducks to her property where they could live in peace.
“They are more than welcome out where I live as there are three dams between two properties, all within walking distance,” she said.
“There is plenty of feed as the ecosystem is well balanced. There is little pollution and opposite me is protected land. Behind me is national park.
They are more than welcome out where I live as there are three damsDeborah Short
“No residents complain about [the ducks we have] and there are hundreds.
“I've been in contact with the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The area ranger has given approval to have them relocated here.
“I have also researched the code of practice for injured, sick and orphaned protected fauna.”
Ms Short, a veterinary nurse, said this code should prevent council from trapping and killing the native birds.
One look at her property shows what an ideal place it could be for native waterbirds, which have been attracted to swimming pools after the bone-dry winter we have experienced.
But when the Mercury put Ms Short’s proposal to Wollongong City Council two weeks ago, it was ignored.
Since then, council appears to be reviewing its plans, and said no ducks had been killed at Helensburgh. It’s too late for 15 of the ducks at Corrimal, with council admitting 15 have already been trapped and killed. But the culling plan would be “reviewed”, with National Parks and WIRES now involved. Council no longer has a permit to catch and kill any more ducks at Corrimal.
The Mercury put Ms Short’s proposal to council again this week, but the response did not address the offer.
“We will continue to work with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and WIRES on how to best manage the wild duck problem at Helensburgh,” a spokeswoman said.
“Council will also review whether relocation would also be a viable solution for Corrimal Pool.
“In the meantime, at Corrimal we are continuing to follow the advice of National Park and Wildlife Service and using deterrents like rubber snakes to try and scare away the ducks.
“We understand our community does not want to see harm come to native wildlife.”