Mallard Control Permit
Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) historically occurred in Florida only during fall and winter months. Releases of captive-reared mallards, however, have resulted in a feral population. These feral mallards are year-round residents and are breeding throughout much of the state.
Florida’s mottled duck (Anas fulvigula fulvigula) is nonmigratory, is genetically distinct from mottled ducks occurring elsewhere, and occurs primarily in peninsular counties of the state. Feral mallards pose a major threat to the conservation of Florida’s endemic mottled duck because the two closely related species readily interbreed and produce fertile, hybrid offspring.
Worldwide, mallard-type species repeatedly have been partially, and perhaps in one case completely, hybridized out of existence by introduced mallards. For example, mallards were introduced into New Zealand and now approximately 95% of the population of New Zealand gray ducks (Anas superciliosa superciliosa) are hybrids. The Hawaiian duck (Anas wyvilliana) is thought to be 100% hybridized on the island of Oahu, and likely only exists, genetically intact, on the island of Kauai. Meller’s duck (Anas melleri) in Madagascar is also highly endangered, and the remaining birds are being hybridized by introduced mallards. As illustrated by the decline and loss of these similar species, genetic mixing of mallards into the mottled duck population is likely to continue and increase, possibly to the demise of Florida’s mottled duck, unless feral mallard populations are greatly reduced or eliminated.
To obtain a free Mallard Control Permit