Watch out for wildlife

The National Trust issued a press release yesterday imploring the public to be careful when driving after a Whistling Duck was run down on Sunday on the Linford Pierson Highway.

duck sign

Duck Crossing Sign: Cayman Wildlife Rescue erected a sign on the side of the Linford Pierson Highway in August informing drivers of the family of ducks. Photo: Submitted

Cayman Wildlife Rescue volunteers were greatly upset over the death of one of the young ducks on the weekend and wanted to issue another appeal to the public.

‘It deeply upsets the volunteers of CWR and we hope that the public will learn from this mishap,’ said Alison Corbett, project manager of Cayman Wildlife Rescue.

Another appeal that the organisation wishes to make is for the public to cease all feeding of the ducks.

It was hoped that after the ducklings had grown the family would move on from their site on the side of the highway, but they have remained due to the fact that people began to feed them.

‘Sometimes when people think they are helping the situation, they are in fact making it worse,’ explained Ms Corbett, adding that the ducks probably choose to settle in dangerous locations such as on the roadside by Linford Pierson Highway because they know they are fed there.

In August a sign was erected on the side of the Linford Pierson cautioning drivers to watch out for the family of West Indian Whistling Ducks living alongside the road.

The sign was created by Vision Marketing and Signs of Paradise and received much support from the public, who called frequently to ask about the well-being of the duck family.

Cayman Wildlife Rescue would like to see more signs installed upon areas of road that are most known for high incidences of wildlife fatalities.

‘Cars continue to be one of the major killers of wildlife and unfortunately most of the animals we have brought in due to cars are usually euthanasia cases,’ Ms Corbett explained. ‘Wildlife and traffic don’t mix.’

If members of the public find injured wildlife they can call the 24 hour Wildlife Emergency Hotline at 917-BIRD (2473).

‘I would like to thank everyone for their concern and for keeping wildlife in mind when driving,’ Ms Corbett said.

The West Indian Whistling Duck is an endangered species and is protected in Grand Cayman.

The species became most well-known after Hurricane Ivan, when the ducks began to venture out of the wetlands they had previously called home and into urban areas in search of food.

A nocturnal bird, the ducks roost in the mangroves during the day and fly out to feeding grounds in the evening, returning to roost just before dawn.

Cayman Wildlife Rescue is a programme of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands. Find out more information at www.caymanwildliferescue.org.

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