« Go Back
This is the mallard duck, an invasive species posing a serious threat to the indigenous yellowbilled duck. (female left, male right). Yellowbilled duck (note brownish-black legs). Mallard-yellowbilled hybrid.
CapeNature calls on the public, particularly those living in the vicinity of lakes, rivers and dams, to report the presence of these alien birds to their nearest nature conservation office.
The mallard is the ancestor of the domestic duck and is originally from the northern hemisphere. It crossbreeds easily with the indigenous yellowbilled duck and the progeny is fertile. As a result, the survival of the yellow billed duck, a protected species, is threatened.
Although control measures have been applied for several years, a considerable number of mallard still occur in the south-western and eastern Cape. Registered zoos may keep them, but this concession does not apply to the general public.
The male has a metallic green head for the greater part of the year, a white ring around the neck and tail feathers curling upwards. This colourful appearance, when breeding, makes them easily distinguishable from most breeds of domestic duck. However, in late summer when they are not breeding, the males and young birds resemble the females - brown, with darker spots and stripes or streaks. Domestic ducks on the other hand occur in a variety of colour combinations, are mostly more heavily built and are more erect. The mallard's ability to fly distinguishes it from most domestic ducks, which can either not fly at all or fly poorly.
Information on the unauthorised keeping of mallard, or on mallard that occur in nature, should be reported to the nearest nature conservation office.
Your co-operation will be greatly appreciated.
Please do not protect these birds. They threaten the survival of the indigenous yellowbilled duck!
Porterville: (022) 931 2900/7
Bellville: (021) 945 4701
Stellenbosch: (021) 866 1560
Hermanus: (028) 314 0062
Robertson: (023) 625 1621
George: (044) 874 2160
Oudtshoorn: (044) 279 1739