Parks and Rec: Stop feeding ducks in City Parks
SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane residents have long enjoyed feeding ducks in Spokane parks, but officials say this can be harmful to ducks and humans.
Signs have been posted by the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department in Manito, Cannon Hill and Riverfront Park encouraging the public to stop feeding ducks and other waterfowl.
"We are finding that we have way too many ducks, attracted by those who feed them, in an ecological environment that cannot support them in a healthy manner," said Steve Nittolo, Horticulture Supervisor for Parks and Recreation.
According to Spokane Parks and Recreation, feeding ducks actually does more harm that good:
- Contrary to popular opinion, bread is not nutritious for waterfowl
- Poor nutrition results in malnourishment
- Too many ducks in an area can spread disease
- Ducks become tame and unable to escape predators
- Duck droppings create water pollution in ponds
- Birds can potentially spread disease to humans
Research by the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service Office of Migratory Bird Management shows an overpopulation of ducks and other birds increases their susceptibility to life threatening diseases like avian cholera, duck plague and avian botulism. An infected duck may then spread the disease to many other birds by infecting the water supply.
City officials say the seemingly kind act of feeding waterfowl results in a cycle where birds are subjected to diseases that can spread as easily as humans spread the common cold.
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