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

The Miami Hurricanes are running low on tight ends. But their receivers — notably sophomore speedste ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Tuesday: ▪ The pretty even split of carries between Travis Homer ...

The University of Miami has lost another player to surgery, and the depth was already lacking at thi ...

A six-pack of UM notes on a Monday: ▪ There has been no more popular or successful quarterback at UM ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ defense leads the nation in tackles for loss and stopping opponents on third d ...

UM President Julio Frenk outlined the strategies of the Roadmap to Our New Century, part of his Stat ...

Listeners to UM President Julio Frenk’s State of the U reacted positively to the message and the Uni ...

At UM’s inaugural State of the U address, President Julio Frenk detailed the strategies of the Roadm ...

Tropical storm scientists and climate experts at the University of Miami provided insight, observati ...

Joseph Ganitsky, a professor in the Miami Business School, examines the financial crisis facing Arge ...

Jeff Thomas may be quiet off the field, but the sophomore has been consistently making lots of noise ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Tuesday the league slate for the upcoming 2018-19 season. ...

Miami remained ranked in both major polls Sunday, checking in at No. 21 in the Associated Press Top ...

The Miami Hurricanes came to Toledo, Ohio for the biggest home game in the history of Toledo footbal ...

A quartet of University of Miami men's tennis student-athletes concluded the final day of compe ...

TMH Twitter
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.