Duck Round Up
Images: Morgan Dean
In September 2011, 21 domestic ducks and eight domestic geese were captured at Westmoreland Park. The ducks and geese were transported to permanent homes where they will be able to live out the rest of their lives. The round-up is part of a much larger, long-term effort to restore Crystal Springs Creek which runs through Westmoreland Park. In 2012 the man-made pond at Westmoreland Pond will be removed and Crystal Springs Creek will be restored to a more natural state. When that happens, non-flighted domestic ducks and geese that have been abandoned at the Park over the years would have been displaced.
Staff and volunteers from Portland Audubon Society, USDA Wildlife Services, and Portland Bureau of Environmental Services arrived long before dawn to set-up the trap and exam stations. Initial attempts to lure the ducks and geese into the trap failed when the ducks repeatedly spooked and returned to the water. However, aided by local neighbor who has looked out for the ducks through the years, all of the non-flighted domestic ducks and geese did eventually enter the trap.
All ducks and geese were examined by veterinarians at the park. Seven of the 21 ducks were found to have significant foot problems, a common ailment of non-flighted ducks that spend much of their lives walking around on cement surfaces. A couple of the ducks also had wing deformities, a result of malnutrition associated with being fed bread. These ducks will be treated at Audubon's Wildlife Care Center until they recover and then will be transported to new homes. The rest of the ducks and geese were placed at their new homes this afternoon.
The round-up was necessary because over the years, dozens of domestic ducks and geese have been abandoned at Westmoreland Park. In fact abandonment of domestic ducks and geese is a big problem at many of our local parks. Abandonment of domestic animals is not only illegal but also inhumane--many of these pet ducks and geese are not equipped to survive in the wild and suffer frequent injuries and illness. When the Westmoreland pond is removed and the creek is restored at Westmoreland Park in 2012, the domestic ducks and geese, unlike their wild counterparts will not be able fly away and will be left high, dry and vulnerable.
Audubon Conservation Director said the effort was a "huge success---we got all the ducks and geese that we needed to capture and now they are on their way to happy, healthy homes. However the success of this project ultimately depends on the general public not abandoning ducks at this park or in other local parks in the future."
Media Coverage of the Round-Up
Audubon Conservation Director, Bob Sallinger: email@example.com 503-292-6855 ext. 110
Audubon Conservation Assistant, Nikkie West: firstname.lastname@example.org 503-292-6855 ext. 126