Ducks (Photo: Peter van der Sluijs/Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: Ducks (Photo: Peter van der Sluijs/Wikimedia Commons)
Tuesday, 8 March 2016 - 08:29
Dramatic drop in Dutch duck population being researched
Over the past 25 years the wild duck population in the Netherlands decreased significantly. The Ministry of Economic Affairs ordered an investigation into the cause of the declining population, NOS reports. The number of breeding couples dropped by 30 percent. In the past decade that number dropped by an average of 3 percent a year. What's even stranger is that this decline can only be seen in the Netherlands, not in other European countries. The investigation will be carried out by Sovon Bird Research Netherlands, the Dutch Institute for Ecology and the Royal Dutch Hunter Association. "We are now putting everything in a row", Albert de Jong of Sovon said to the broadcaster. "How many eggs are laid, how many chicks grow up. But also how many ducks survive their first year of life. And how many wild ducks are shot by hunters." They will also investigate whether factors such as botulism and toxic algae can be the cause of the decline. The Forestry Commission confirms that the number of wild ducks is decreasing. "It's like the sparrow or blackbird, which at first appeared a lot and now less. Maybe that is a result of various changes in nature, but it is very important that you do good research into the causes." said spokesperson Imke Boerma. The results of the study is expected in the spring.