Breeding of Ducklings Proposed for Reykjavík Pond

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Breeding of Ducklings Proposed for Reykjavík Pond

The condition of the birdlife at Tjörnin, the Reykjavík Pond, remains severe, according to a report released earlier this month. Birds may disappear from the area if nothing is done to reverse the development. It is therefore proposed that ducklings be bred at the pond.

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Reykjavík Pond. Photo: Páll Stefánsson/Iceland Review.

The report, which has been submitted to the Environment and Urban Planning Committee of the City of Reykjavík, states that three duck species in particular are at risk of disappearing within the next few years: gadwall, scaup and eider duck, ruv.is reports.

A decline in surviving ducklings has been reported continuously for 20 years. The report identifies three main reasons for this development: lack of food, deterioration of habitat and vulnerability towards animals that feed on eggs and kill ducklings, primarily lesser black-backed gulls, ravens and cats.

The lesser black-backed gulls pose the biggest threat for ducklings; in the past years 100-400 gulls have been spotted around the pond on most days in June, July and August.

The report points out that the pieces of bread people often throw in the pond to feed the ducks attract gulls. However, some of them appear to come solely to hunt ducklings.

The number of ravens has increased in the city and they are known for feeding on eggs and cats are a menace in nesting colonies; they have even killed grown ducks in nests.

The report suggests that breeding as was practiced in 1956-1970 be resumed, when eggs were hatched and ducks bred at the pond. They would also like a supervisor to be hired to care for the birds.

ESA