Opinion, Staff Editorial

Questions remain about university’s duck control

The ducks are some of the first things students notice when they step on campus. Their slow swagger and many traces, to put it delicately, establish the ducks’ dominance on campus walkways.

As students, we have learned to cope with the ducks. We feed them, we take photos of them and we fight with them for sidewalk space – the ducks have become integrated in our daily routines.

However, the university’s recent actions to control the duck population have raised eyebrows. The issue first came to light when students noticed trappers with nets in the middle of the night near the Stanford Circle canal last week – coinciding closely with preparations for Inauguration Week.

See More: University removes number of invasive Muscovy ducks

The university cited health and safety concerns for the duck removal. The Muscovy duck is classified as a non-native nuisance animal in Miami-Dade County. The ducks can spread E. coli and salmonella bacteria, and their feces can alter the pH of the water. However, if the university is entirely justified in removing the ducks, it is strange that they plan no further action after last week’s trapping.

Even more dubious is the university’s claim that only 14 ducks were removed. That number could hardly make any significant impact on the population. It seems that the university would have removed more, or they do indeed plan on trapping more ducks throughout the semester.

Either way, there should be more transparency on how the duck population is being handled. For a school so closely embedded within the local ecosystem, this could be a valuable learning experience for students to understand the importance of maintaining an ecological balance and minimizing human effects, such as feeding the ducks. In the least, it will lessen the alarm of students walking through the area late at night and give the editorial staff more confidence knowing that the ducks are not, in fact, ending up in the dining hall.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

January 24, 2016

Reporters

Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Miami coach Mark Richt nearly went through his weekly teleconference Sunday without anyone asking hi ...

I opened my eyes this morning and for the first time in a long time, maybe all season, didn’t say, “ ...

If defense really does win championships, the University of Miami is in good shape. Despite giving u ...

This is the Miami Hurricanes team that finally solved its long hex in finally winning at Florida Sta ...

1. HURRICANES: No. 3 Canes beat Virginia in home finale: ACC title game, first 10-win season since 2 ...

The Finker-Frenkel Legacy Foundation gift will establish the Business Plan Competition Endowed Fund. ...

C. David Naylor, a UM Presidential Scholar and public health policy expert, provided insight into he ...

A cohort of five religious leaders from Miami, including a rabbi and imam from the University of Mia ...

Hollywood actress and star of the hit BET series Being Mary Jane gets real about gender, race and co ...

The annual development agreement meeting is a time for the city and University to share information ...

Miami survived an early scare to beat Virginia, 44-28, and achieve its first 10-win season since 200 ...

For the second straight week, the Miami Hurricanes were ranked No. 2 in both the Associated Press po ...

The Miami women's basketball team dropped a 67-61 decision to Colorado on Saturday afternoon in ...

The University of Miami volleyball team closed out the weekend with a convincing 3-0 win at Virginia ...

The University of Miami volleyball team produced some late-match magic Friday night to outlast an in ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.