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Invasive Muscovy ducks taking over native wildlife habitats

Posted at 4:40 PM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 14:40:17-04

WESTCHASE, Fla — Love them or not, animal rehabbers and trappers say Muscovy ducks are taking over habitats.

"There’s hundreds,” said Chris Wirt, Owner of AAAC Wildlife Removal. "Every time you move one out another comes in.”

They weigh in at anywhere between 3-10 pounds and Wirt says they can do some damage. A woman in Westchase says she’s had to repair her porch screen several times this year so far.

"That screen is not made for that to be walked on,” he said. According to Wirt, they also continue to push out native migratory birds.

"It forces them out. They’re fighting for the same food source,” he said.

Owls Nest Sanctuary for wildlife says while they do serve a purpose — a food source for other larger animals — they kill other types of birds and their babies, and Kris Porter says their population has been exploding over the last few years.

"Don’t give them a reason to be there,” said Wirt. He suggests to not feed them and bring in your bird feeder at night so rodents don’t push the seed to the ground and create a food source for them.

Muscovy ducks are considered a nuisance animal in Florida and because of that if they are trapped they must be euthanized.

"I don’t like doing that, we are the most humane in Tampa Bay for a reason,” he said. State law also doesn’t allow him to relocate the duck either. "It’s a bird that flies so even if I took it to Georgia there’s a chance they could come back here."

He says you can also get noise makers and items that reflect the sun to scare them away.