Bridgwater Bay Wildfowlers Partner with WWT

Bridgwater Bay Wildfowlers Partner with WWT to Boost Local Mallard Population. In a joint effort to combat the declining mallard population, the Bridgwater Bay Wildfowlers Association (BBWA) and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) came together on a recent Saturday morning at Steart marshes.

European mallard numbers have been dropping since the 1980s, partly due to reduced breeding success. Predation, flooding, and disturbance from humans, dogs, and livestock have all been identified as contributing factors. To address this, a Europe-wide initiative is underway to create nesting platforms to provide safe havens for ducks to raise their young.

BBWA members dedicated a day to building and refurbishing over 20 duck nest tubes, 5 of which were installed at the WWT reserve at Steart Marshes with the help of reserve warden Ronan. The location of these tubes were carefully chosen by warden and bird expert Sam and offer potential nesting birds a dry, warm, and protected environment. It important they are situated over water to reduce the risk of mammalian predation and in close proximity to natural food sources for the ducklings once they hatch


WWT reserve manager, Alys, expressed her delight. "This partnership demonstrates the power of collaboration in achieving positive outcomes. We're excited to monitor these tubes, the citizen science information gleaned could play a crucial role in targeting future conservation efforts."


BBWA Chairman, Jeremy Bell, emphasised their commitment to conservation. "Our members care deeply about the environment and the wildfowl that rely on it, not just for hunting purposes, but for the species' overall well-being," he stated. " We now have duck nest tubes spread across the Somerset levels and moors, and alongside our habitat restoration initiatives and litter picks, they are a key part of our long-term conservation plans."

With sightings of mallard pairs amongst various other bird species, the outlook for the breeding season appears promising. Both BBWA and WWT are looking forward to the upcoming breeding season, the question now is will they get used in their first year, our fingers are crossed!

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