Synurbisation of Pacific Black Ducks Anas superciliosa in South-eastern Queensland: The Influence of Supplementary Feeding on Foraging Behaviour
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This study investigated synurbisation in the Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa by examining the influence of supplementary feeding on foraging ecology in urban lakes in south-eastern Queensland, in an attempt to determine how this abundant species is able to adapt to anthropogenic environments as increasing urbanisation removes and modifies natural environments. Natural foraging behaviours were consistent with previous studies, with dabbling, dipping and up-ending predominating, and foraging birds being individually dispersed. During supplementary feeding, however, foraging behaviours changed to those of take-and-leave, lunge, stationary, snatch, and swim forward. Although the mean distance between naturally foraging individuals was 2.51 m, individuals feeding on bread were only 0.25 m apart. This study suggests that the common pastime of supplementary feeding of ducks has resulted in new foraging behaviours and patterns within urban populations of Pacific Black Ducks, and these findings have implications for urban wildlife management and the co-existence of people and animals in urban environments.
Australian Field Ornithology
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