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Nature watch at Trinity Prep: Students observe as the Muscovy ducks lay their eggs around campus

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Nature watch at Trinity Prep: Students observe as the Muscovy ducks lay their eggs around campus

AMBER RAMPERSAUD, WRITER

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You may have seen some new ducks waddling around campus. You may have even seen the eggs they laid, right underneath Trinity’s legendary rock in the quad. These ducks are called Muscovy ducks, and they are an invasive species.

  According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Muscovy ducks were illegally released by private owners who had them as pets or for ornamental purposes. Since then, it is legal to dispose of the species in a humane way. The ducks themselves may seem like cute and harmful animals, but they actually extend the risk of transmitting diseases and damaging property. Dr. Smith, gave some insight on the invasive ducks.

  “They are very violent, and create competition with native species by interbreeding with waterfowl,” Smith said.

  Muscovy ducks mate with whatever waterfowl is available which creates competition that is harmful to native species; waterfowl that mate with Muscovy ducks produce sterile offspring. Their eggs popped up underneath the rock about a week ago, after students and faculty started to notice the ducks’ presence on campus about four weeks ago. The science teachers took no action and let nature run its course. At the end of last week, the eggs were cracked and sprawled about around the quad, leading many to think that they hatched, or were attacked by another animal. Today, students actually reported that another mother duck had laid eggs, and was incubating them.

 

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Nature watch at Trinity Prep: Students observe as the Muscovy ducks lay their eggs around campus