ducks are unusual Florida residents. They hiss instead of quack,
they fly clumsily, and they somehow flourish in Florida’s
to Central and South America, they have lived in Florida for many
years and can be found near lakes and canals statewide.
Muscovy duck is easily recognized by large patches of red, bumpy
skin around their eyes and bill (females have smaller patches
of red than males).
these very personable and intelligent animals are commonly harassed
or worse by human residents of our state.
is contacted on a regular basis by individuals and municipalities
seeking a solution to “problems” with Muscovy ducks.
Sometimes, their hissing is misinterpreted as aggression (in fact,
they are very friendly animals). Most often, the complaints are
that the ducks are “messy,” fouling golf courses or
is difficult to imagine that bird droppings could warrant enough
anger in people to drive them to attack the responsible animals.
Sadly, Muscovy ducks in Florida have been kicked, chased with
brooms, deliberately hit with vehicles, beaten to death and shot.
ducks, like all animals, are protected from harassment and inhumane
killing under Florida’s anti-cruelty statute (828.12).
Prosecutions of individuals causing pain, injury or death to ducks
have occurred under the statute.
Fortunately, there are simple and effective ways of limiting populations
of Muscovy ducks. The most humane way to reduce a duck population,
or to keep Muscovy ducks from reaching “nuisance”
numbers, is to remove newly-laid eggs.
collection can be a challenging process. Please contact
ARFF for tips on how to properly collect eggs.
Muscovy ducks carry disease?
There is no evidence that Muscovy ducks transmit disease to humans,
or otherwise pose a public-health threat.
Trapping and relocation may sound like a good option, especially
when disreputable trappers give only vague information about the
ultimate destination of the animals. State law does not allow
Muscovy ducks to be relocated to public lands (Captive
Wildlife Regulation 372.265). The truth is that when ducks
are removed by trappers, they will most likely be killed.
who are not killed right away may be transported long distances
in cramped cages to farms that will kill them for meat or exploit
them for their eggs. The practice of trapping and removal can
also injure animals. ARFF has received complaints about cruel
trappers who only remove adult ducks, separating mothers from
their offspring, leaving orphaned ducklings behind. In addition,
trapping is expensive and ineffective as a long-term solution.