BELL’S Bridge residents Jean and David Williams spent much of yesterday afternoon plucking dead native black ducks from their dams after what appears to be a massive poisoning of the local wildlife.
Mr Williams said they had often found more dead birds than might be considered normal but the scale of this mass extermination has them concerned.
“We have had the problem for about 15 years,” Mr Williams said.
“But it was mostly crows and the odd magpie or galah. But this is a mass extermination... it looks like someone has deliberately poisoned them.”
Of Mr Williams seven dams, three of them had around 40 dead ducks floating in them.
The odd one had been dragged out by a fox and most looked to have died within the previous 24-hours, he said.
They also found a dead galah and dead magpies – all apparently poisoned about the same time.
A neighbour also reported dead ducks in their dam.
Mr Williams is at a loss to understand why anyone would poison this particular species.
He says, unlike “wood ducks” these are brown (or black) ducks and not known to be a problem to farmers.
The carcasses would all have to be collected and burnt because of the concern that they could contaminate the water.
“It’s a worry for stock and we’re only about 500 metres from the Mary River here. We have Mary River Turtles and we’ve seen them eating the ducks.”
“I’ve farmed all my life and I’ve never seen brown ducks eating pasture like the wood ducks do,” he said.
“Who ever had it in for them did a good job.”