Posted February 10, 2018 12:23:56 Queensland’s rubber duck population has doubled since its reintroduction to Australia’s north coast in 2012, with some local residents hoping for the future.
Key points:The rubber duck is one of many marsupials that are found in Queensland’s south and central regionsThe population is currently about 40 per cent of its peakThe duck’s numbers have grown to the point where the Government wants to remove the duck from its native range in QueenslandAs the duck’s population has risen, so too have questions about its future.
“The Queensland Government has asked for some reassurances on its management,” said Dr Paul McNeil, a wildlife ecologist at the University of Queensland.
“It’s not a duck that you’d want to bring into your backyard.”
The Queensland government has made no public announcement about the duck, but the Government has confirmed that it will keep the population at its current level of about 40 to 50 per cent.
The duck is now on the State’s endangered species list, which is used to restrict the breeding of birds.
The Queensland Environment Minister, Ian Stewart, said the duck was “a fascinating species” that could potentially be brought back to the region.
“We are going to do what we can to ensure it has a productive future in Queensland,” he said.
“But the situation is very, very complex, there are a lot of factors at play.”
I don’t think we’re going to be able to have a duck in our backyard for quite a while.
“In terms of the species and the habitat, I think it’s quite a bit to do with the population and the climate.”
Dr McNeil said it was important to keep the duck in the wild.
“As we’re seeing in the south, we’ve got a lot more species that are looking for places to breed,” he told ABC Radio Brisbane.
“And the more species you have in a given habitat, the less diversity there is for those species to breed.”
The Government’s proposal to reintroduce the duck would see it removed from its current range of about 30 hectares (75 acres).
The duck has been brought into Queensland’s north for breeding purposes but it is now threatened by the presence of a predator called the brown bear.
The Department of Environment said that it had received a number of requests for reassurances, but that it would only accept reassurances from a “significant number” of residents.
“If there is a significant number of people who have a view that this is an appropriate time to bring the duck back to Queensland, then the Department will consider whether to put it on the list of protected species,” the department said in a statement.
The Government will not remove the Duck from its natural range, but will consult with local communities before deciding whether to move the duck.
“All residents in Queensland are welcome to bring their ducks into their community and to do so as they see fit,” the statement said.ABC News’ Emma Jones, Jonny Rufo and Ben Smith contributed to this report.