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Ducks on the Derwent don’t need a feed

A new booklet created to help birdwatchers identify Tasmanian ducks and learn about their diets and behaviours is now available for free at multiple southern Tasmanian councils.

Ducks of Tasmania was developed through a joint effort between the Derwent Estuary Program, BirdLife Tasmania and the Pacific Black Duck Conservation Group.

Derwent Estuary Program chief executive officer Ursula Taylor said she hoped the booklet would bring great joy to people venturing on walks around Tasmania.

“We wanted to create something easy to carry and read for duck lovers,” she said.

“With beautiful illustrations by Hobart-based artist Sam Lyne, the booklet will help people easily identify ducks.

“We have 11 native ducks in Tasmania, many of whom are regular visitors to the Derwent Estuary. We wanted to share how we can enjoy seeing them without harming their welfare.”

BirdLife Tasmania convenor Karen Dick said feeding ducks was seriously impacting the native species.

“Feeding ducks any food can cause illnesses, pollute waterways where large numbers of ducks congregate and attract rodents,” she said.

“The only ducks that benefit from people feeding them are Mallards and we’d hate to see the Pacific Black Duck driven out of the Derwent due to cross-breeding.”

Copies of Ducks of Tasmania are available at the City of Hobart, Glenorchy, Clarence, Kingborough, Brighton, Derwent Valley, Huon Valley and Sorell councils.

A digital version of the booklet can be found at www.derwentestuary.org.au/ducks/

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About the Author: Simon Andrews

Simon is a passionate journalist and finds joy in uncovering and sharing locally resonant stories, immersing himself in the hearts of communities. He can often be spotted out and about sourcing grassroots news for the Hobart Observer and its sister papers.

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