Lake snags luck­less ducks

South Waikato News - - Front Page - LUKE KIRKEBY

Find­ing 27 dead ducks in one day at Toko­roa’s Lake Moananui has shocked keen na­ture pho­tog­ra­pher Denise Cap­per.

Cap­per, who has been vis­it­ing the lake ev­ery day for the past 13 years, said the ducks are get­ting their feet stuck in the thick green weed which has rapidly ac­cu­mu­lated over re­cent years.

‘‘The weed is spreading right out into the lake now and the ducks go into it to feed and then their feet get stuck so they can’t get back out,’’ she said.

‘‘It’s been get­ting bad for about four years now but it’s never been as bad as it is now and ev­ery day I’m find­ing more dead ducks.’’

‘‘I’ve been down to the South Waikato District Coun­cil but all they’ve said is they will pick up the ducks, that’s it. They’re not do­ing a damn thing about ac­tu­ally fix­ing the prob­lem,’’ she said.

She said the man-made lake, which is an ar­ti­fi­cial im­pound­ment of the Matarawa Stream, is also be­com­ing more pol­luted with rub­bish.

‘‘I feel so sorry for the bird life. There used to be a lot more,’’ she said.

‘‘There is pa­per, bot­tles, even a foot­ball in there but the coun­cil just does not seem in­ter­ested.’’

She said a group of small islands in the lake have also be­come over­grown with weeds.

‘‘They used to be beau­ti­ful and you could see all the birds but now they are cov­ered in long grass and black­berry which all needs to go,’’ she said.

‘‘The coun­cil must need more money but the longer they leave it, the more it is go­ing to cost and an­i­mals are go­ing to con­tinue to die.’’

South Waikato com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager Kerry Fabrie said the coun­cil had re­ceived re­ports about dead ducks but no mon­i­tor­ing was be­ing done.

‘‘The coun­cil has not com­mis­sioned tests so has no di­rect ev­i­dence as to the cause of the ducks’ death,’’ she said.

Fabrie said the coun­cil feels the weed in the lake en­vi­ron­ment is not ab­nor­mal and at times low­ers the lake level to re­duce it.

She also said the coun­cil’s Parks Team will look into the state of the islands and there was on­go­ing work around re­duc­ing lit­ter.

‘‘We will be in­stalling a new bin on the western side. Sadly how­ever some re­search shows that an in­crease in lit­ter bins does not nec­es­sar­ily de­crease the amount of lit­ter,’’ she said.

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