Re: birding-aus bread and ducks

Subject: Re: birding-aus bread and ducks
Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 13:08:39 +1000
In my last posting I may have understated the potential impact of bread
on algal blooms: much grain is grown with the help of superphosphates.
We are trying to get some estimates of just how much phosphate will be
added to a small lake for each loaf of bread.

One of our local lakes (fairly shallow and less than 0.5 ha in
Basterfield Park) which receives much bread (and has a low flow of
water) recently had an algal bloom.  One of our members identified at
least 3 species of algae, including a toxic blue-green one. The
Council's now put up a notice warning about the algae.

Interestingly the major bloom followed not long after 60+ cormorants,
mostly Little Black Cormorants, had been there, feeding on an
unidentified species of fish (not gambusia or carp).  Perhaps, given the
combination of the base-load of phosphate from the bread and the low
rainfall, the cormorants' excreta tipped the balance and led to the 

Those who asked for a copy of the Braeside leaflet about feeding ducks
should receive it soon.

Michael Norris
Bayside Friends of Native Wildlife
Hampton, Vic.

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