Domestic Ducks

To: Seb <>, "" <>
Subject: Domestic Ducks
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 20:16:17 +1000
Seb wrote:
> Hi all!
> I'm new to this list and just wanted to mention some worrying things
> I've been noticing in my local area. First thing is the increasing
> number of European Goldfinches in my area, particularly on and
> near the local wetland (On Lake Illawarra in the basin between
> Warrawong and Primbee). I haven't been observing too closesly but from
> what I've seen there is a large breeding colony here as I've seen many
> juveniles as well. This is pretty worrying as these wetlands seems to
> be an important breeding site for the native songbirds in this area.
> Another thing I've noticed is the recent worrying dumping of 2
> domestic Muscovy ducks in the wetland. There is a healthy population
> of Pacific Black ducks and quite a few Hardheads and Teals residing on
> this wetland so i was wondering if there is a chance of interbreeding
> like what happends with Pacific Blacks and Mallards?
> This is an important wetland in my area so you can probably see why
> I'm worried...
> Thanks!
> ~Seb
Muscovy Ducks belong to a quite different genus (Cairina I think) to the
dappling ducks Anas to which our native Black Ducks, Teal etc belong.
Muscovies can hybridize with Anas species (wild and domestic) but their
offspring will be sterile. Domestic mallard X Muscovies are called
Mules, and are a good large eating duck. (A domestic Muscovy drake I
once knew caused great annoyance to a neighbour whose aim was to breed
pedigree Khaki Campbell ducks...)
If the Muscovies are a mixed pair they may of course produce their own
ducklings. Their presence is undesirable, but they are not nearly such a
threat as wild-type Mallards, which can and do hybridize with Black
Ducks, as has happened in New Zealand.
Anthea Fleming
in Melbourne

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