Don’t feed the ducks!

May 6th, 2015

This article is more than 9 years old.

Good deed can actually kill the lakes and the duck

Feeding the ducks could be hazardous to their health (photo: Kapa65)

Tossing some bread to ducks swimming around the local lakes seems like the most natural thing in the world.

However, according to zoologist Michael Carlsen from animal protection agency Dyrenes Beskyttelse, it is also exactly the wrong thing to do.

“Small lakes are heavily contaminated by nutrients, and it gets even worse when people feed the waterfowl,” Carlsen told Metroxpress. “Feeding waterfowl can help eliminate the natural food supply.”

Too many birds
Algae thrive on the extra nutrition that tossing bread into the water provides and the algae steal light from the plants that animals feed on.

“Adult swans can move,” said Carlsen. “On some lakes there used to be 30-40 swan chicks annually. Today you have at best two to three.”

READ MORE: Spending time at the Lakes in central Copenhagen could cause cardiovascular problems

Carlsen said that another problem brought on by human feeding is the risk of luring too many birds into the same place, which increases the risks of the birds infecting each other with avian diseases.


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