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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Ask JP 5 / Wildlife
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Wildlife

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Dzign
Nov-21-2018 @ 9:56 AM                           Permalink
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The reason there are a lot fewer coots and ducks is they are what the otters eat they are even taking geese now

L

Marshman
Nov-21-2018 @ 10:12 AM                           Permalink
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Mardles sometimes
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Its called evolution - birds with feathers are much tastier than fish, despite there being an abundance of their natural food. Or perhaps that's the view of a few!

JP
Nov-22-2018 @ 3:55 PM                           Permalink
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Dear RAB,

Thanks again for the question.

I have consulted colleagues in the RSPB on this and I have summarised their comments below.

Otters almost exclusively eat fish and the carrying capacity of the Broads in supporting otters will be limited by availability of sites for holts, and food availability.

Otters are often inquisitive, but have a healthy respect for humans.  The initial introduction of captive reared otters from Earsham has allowed otters to repopulate the Broads.  We doubt that the otters we see in the Broads are being less secretive than elsewhere.

During the breeding season waterfowl aren’t overtly conspicuous, as they’re raising young. Numbers of waterfowl on Barton Broad has not changed dramatically.  The Broad supports good numbers of wintering waterfowl including coot, which would suggest good breeding success and minimal impact from otters. The issue might be availability of food and waterfowl may have moved in response to that.  Ranworth Broad is often full of winter birds which includes lots of coot.

The numbers of coot and ducks at Strumpshaw Fen have increased over the last 10 years - despite the fact that Strumpshaw has otters, lots of visitors, undertakes mink control and there is nearby boat traffic in the River Yare.

On the other hand you may have seen a genuine drop in numbers of moorhen and coot. If so, the reasons are most likely complex and it would be impossible to attribute any decline to a single factor.

Hope that helps.

Regards

John


Marshman
Nov-23-2018 @ 8:34 AM                           Permalink
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Mardles sometimes
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But sadly no one will believe you!!!! Some perceive the opposite and will continue to press the point.



Paladine
Nov-23-2018 @ 8:45 AM                           Permalink
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As there is no differentiation in JP’s response between the summary of the RSPB’s comments and his own, who knows what to believe? On the one hand numbers are increasing, but it’s also admitted that numbers may be decreasing  Confused

"..for the avoidance of any doubt, the broads are not legally a national park and do not come under the national park legislation, and nor will they."
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for DEFRA (Hansard 2015)

Helmsman1946
Nov-23-2018 @ 11:33 AM                           Permalink
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Over 50 mallard on the quay at Reedham this morning despite low survival rates of ducklings especially early in the season.

Peter

batrabill
Nov-23-2018 @ 12:17 PM                           Permalink
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Quote

But sadly no one will believe you!!!! Some perceive the opposite and will continue to press the point.

Comic timing

Bill

Dykedweller
Nov-23-2018 @ 2:08 PM                           Permalink
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Peter they’ve heard that although bread was bad for them last week it is good for them this week and they know that the children will feed them here.



This message was edited by Dykedweller on Nov-23-18 @ 1:09 PM

Helmsman1946
Nov-23-2018 @ 10:02 PM                           Permalink
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The feeding controversy has been going on all summer after a certain major organisation said it was bad luckily someone in one city park got the proper info in July which just saved their three signets which could not escape their fenced lake to graze the nearby grass. Even a local school made loads  of posters which really put people off and caused some controversy when they were removed.The link I put in the other thread names that organisation Smile

Peter

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