Hybridisation between mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and grey duck (A. superciliosa) on Lord Howe Island and management options
|Title||Hybridisation between mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and grey duck (A. superciliosa) on Lord Howe Island and management options|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2008|
|Authors||Tracey, JP, Lukins, BS, Haselden, C|
|Type of Article||article|
|Keywords||control, grey duck, hybridisation, Lord Howe Island, mallard|
Introduced mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) occur on many islands of the South Pacific, where they hybridise with the resident grey duck (A. superciliosa). In October 2007, we conducted systematic surveys of Lord Howe Island to estimate the abundance and distribution of grey ducks, mallards, and their hybrids. Hybrids were common in areas of high public use, particularly where there was mown or grazed grass. Phenotypic characteristics suggest that mallards are now dominant and have supplanted the native grey duck, with 81% of birds classified as mallard or mallard-like hybrids, 17% as intermediate hybrids and only 2% as grey duck-like hybrids. No pure grey duck were observed. These hybrids pose direct and indirect economic, social and environmental impacts to Lord Howe Island. A management program to remove mallards using trapping, shooting and opportunistic capture by hand was conducted in October 2007. Standardised indices of duck abundance before and after management indicates that the total population was reduced by 71.7%. Eradication of mallard and hybrids from Lord Howe Island is considered achievable with a program of education, monitoring, and continued control to prevent re-establishment.