Driver kills rare duck

| 28/10/2008

(CNS): Just a few months after Cayman Wildlife Rescue placed a sign along the Linford Pierson to caution drivers about a family of West Indian Whistling Ducks nesting along the busy stretch of road one of them was mowed down by a vehicle on Sunday and Alison Corbett, Project Manager of Cayman Wildlife Rescue is appealing to the public not to feed the birds nesting by roads as it encourages them to nest in dangerous spots.


“The ducks have nested here for many years and each year some of the young were reported to be killed by oncoming traffic,” said Corbett who explained that she had seen many people feeding the ducks along the highway and pleaded with them to stop.  “Unfortunately feeding wildlife roadside has deadly consequences.  I think one of the reasons why the ducks choose this unfavourable site is due to this factor.” 

By the end of September the five young were fully fledged and would have been able to leave the wetland area but in October they were found still habituating the dangerous wetland and were still being fed by the public.  “Sometimes when people think they are helping the situation they are in fact making it worse. It deeply upsets the volunteers of CWR and we hope that the public will learn from this mishap.” 

Cayman Wildlife Rescue strongly advises the public never to feed wildlife along the roads.  This act is dangerous not only the wildlife, but also very dangerous to people themselves.  “I would like to thank everyone for their concern and for keeping wildlife in mind when driving.  Being an active driver and keeping your eyes on the road and roadside is not just a safe driving practice for people, but will also benefit our wildlife,” Corbett added.”CWR would like to see more signs installed along deadly stretches of road, which are proving to be fatal to wildlife. Cars continue to be one of the major killers of wildlife and unfortunately most of the animals we have brought in due to cars are usually euthanasia cases.  Wildlife and traffic don’t mix.  We ask drivers to please keep an eye out for the feathered, furred and scaled friends we share the road with.” 

Corbett said the sign was a joint project between Vision Marketing & Signs of Paradise.  The support from the public was outstanding and CWR received many calls & emails from members of the community concerned about the duck family.

Most residents only became familiar with the West Indian Whistling Duck after Hurricane Ivan, when it ventured out of the wetlands and into urban areas in search of food.  It is also a nocturnal bird, roosting in the mangroves during the day, flying out to feeding grounds in the evening, and returning to roost just before dawn.  There are now several private individuals around the island who feed them on a regular basis.  According to Patricia Bradley’s “Birds of the Cayman Islands” (Caerulea Press, 1995), the West Indian Whistling Duck is listed as an endangered species and is protected on the island. 

If members of the public find injured wildlife, they can call the 24 hr Wildlife Emergency Hotline 917-BIRD (2473) where dedicated volunteers will provide emergency service & support. For your own safety and that of the animal, members of the public are requested to not attempt to rescue or care for the animal themselves – rather call the hotline and trained volunteers will attend to the animal. Cayman Wildlife Rescue is a programme of the National Trust for the Cayman Islands.  This project is staffed entirely by volunteers with other full time jobs, and is financed 100% by donations from the public.  If you would like to help by donating funds or volunteering time, please contact Alison Corbett at


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  1. Anonymous says:

    You can have all the conservation areas you want but it will never stop the sensless idiots that can’t see whats in the road. Some just don’t care and it’s sad.

    If you kill anything in the road at least have the grace to inform some authority or move it off the road, unless of course you don’t care and are heartless.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Whenever I drive on this Highway I try to be cautious as I’m aware that they live there and are endangered. Maybe it might be possible for the public & private sector to set up a fund to purchase the 3 acres and make it a Wildlife Protection Area. If we’re not careful in 10 years time this beautiful species will be extinct so lets act now before it’s too late. I’d like to say thanks to CWR, The National Trust and Vision Marketing and other donors for trying to protect our natural enviroment and wildlife.