Pato-real © Diogo Oliveira

Mallard Duck

Anas platyrhynchos

The Mallard is one of the most abundant birds in the Gulbenkian Garden. In fact, we can say that … it’s even too abundant! Because? Because the number of mallards currently in the Garden exceeds the capacity of the place itself. In other words, there are more mallards than the Garden can withstand in a situation of ecological balance. Consequently, the excess of mallards promote a lower quality of the lake water and, not infrequently, excessive wear on some lawns.

What are the reasons for heaving so many Mallards in our gardens? The absence of natural predators and, above all, the fact that some people provide food to these birds, which, like domestic pigeons, have developed the ability to take advantage of some human behaviors.

If you sympathize with this bird, we would like to leave an important message for you, for our garden but also for the well-being of the population of this nice anatine: Please do not feed the Mallards, because … it is not necessary. The ecological system of the Garden provides all the conditions for the existence of a balanced population of Mallards.

Text: João E. Rabaça

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