Collier County community divided over plan to eradicate neighborhood ducks

Published: December 17, 2020 6:21 PM EST

A Collier County community wants to get rid of flocks of ducks hanging around the neighborhood, and how they plan to do it is dividing residents.

“Out and out killing is wrong and inhumane,” said Geri Ruhl, who lives in Island Walk.

“This particular bird is a nuisance, an annoyance,” said Bill Kupersmith, another resident.

The Island Walk homeowner’s association board is considering spending $6,000 to trap and kill the Muscovy ducks that call the neighborhood home. They voted in favor of it but may reconsider after an uproar from residents.

“It is a very dark and disturbing thing that this board has done. It actually makes me ashamed to be a resident of Island Walk to think that they would do this,” said Ken Tardio.

Kristine Grenier agrees. “It makes me so angry. It’s wrong on so many levels, it’s wrong. You know it’s immoral, it’s unsustainable, it’s poor leadership.”

Dick Norwood said at a board meeting Wednesday that those against it are just a vocal minority.

“Muscovy ducks are considered nuisance birds not native to Florida. They are destructive to gardens and landscaping; they nest in any available spot and leave droppings.”

Board members say they have support, as many people no longer want to look out their windows and see the invasive ducks.

“The massive number of ducks is rather extreme in here,” one board member said during the meeting.

Island Walk leaders expect to make a decision in a few weeks.

Until then, “this crowd is pretty adamant about wildlife and the preservation thereof,” said Gary Morhouse.

The general manager of Island Walk says they’re speaking to a wildlife biologist to find other options for dealing with the ducks, but the trap-and-kill plan is still on the table.