Muscovy Ducks
     Florida Statute 379.231 & Florida Statute 828.12

Florida statute 379.231 Prohibits the release of exotic animals, which include muscovy ducks.
Florida statute 828.12 (2) A person who intentionally commits an act to any animal, which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, or causes the same to be done. 

Muscovy Duck: (Cairina moschata)

Muscovy ducks (cairina moschata) is a member of the duck family. They are small to medium in size, averaging between 31 to 79 centimeters long, weighing about 7 to 15 pounds. Males are considerably larger than the females. 

Muscovy ducks have a featherless, bumpy bright red mask around their eyes and beak. They also have a crest on top of their heads. Their color patterns consist of black and white feathers, with the black feathers appearing iridescent and glossy. The amount of white feathers on their necks and heads vary. They may also have white patches or bars on the wings, which become noticeable during flight. All muscovy ducks have long claws on their feet and a wide flat tail.

Muscovy ducks are native to Mexico, Central and South America, they originated from Brazil. Some muscovy ducks escaped into the wild, breeding outside of their native range and are now found throughout Western Europe and the United States. Although it is believed they originated in Florida when a private owner released domesticated muscovy ducks into the wild. Muscovy ducks are not considered to be wildlife. Because these birds are adaptable to many environments, they can inhabit many areas. Weather they are feral or domesticated they are particular to residential areas and parks.   

Muscovy ducks primarily consume mosquito, flies, insects, spiders and ants.

Muscovy ducks average life span ranges from 7 to 8 years; although they could live up to 20 years, providing they don't fall victim to a predator. They must also have a stable food source. Muscovies are  generally not aggressive towards humans. The male muscovies tend to show more aggression towards other birds, using his claws and beak and wings to fight. Unlike other ducks muscovies don't swim too much, mainly walking or flying. Muscovies are also known to fly in to trees  where they roost. They communicate with each other by wagging their tails and raising there heads up and down fluffing up their feathers and raising their crest or crown at the same time. Male muscovies also have a different call than other duck species do, they have more of dry hissing call. The female muscovy omits quite turps almost sounding like a flute switching notes. 

Female muscovies can mate as early as 1 year old. Muscovies are not like the Mallard ducks, that choose a life mate. The males force themselves on to the unwilling females, sometimes mating with the entire flock of females. The females or hens then lay between 8 to 10 eggs in their nests that are in hollow tree holes. The incubation period lasts approximately 35 days. Muscovy hens can produce up to 3 clutches a year. Once the ducklings are born the mother keeps them close together protecting them from predators. Their color patterns consist of a yellow - brown color and others maybe all yellow or all brown. They do not have the red bumpy mask on their faces like the adults do. They are very curious and friendly to humans as they approach for food.  Florida has an abundance of muscovies because of the rate that they can reproduce. 

Both domesticated and feral muscovy ducks can transmit disease to wild waterfowl. This is also known as the duck plague; sometimes causing a devastating viral infection. Fowl cholera is another serious disease that is transmitted between domestic and wild waterfowl.

Florida has an abundance of muscovies, both feral and domestic. Which create nuisance problems throughout the state. In Florida if no one claims the muscovies; there are no state or federal laws that prohibits the capture; and humanely euthanize them, as a last resort. It is against the law to capture, relocate and release muscovies into the wild. Feral or domestic ducks are undesirable in the wild, due to the potential to transmit diseases to or interbreed with Florida's native waterfowl. Therefore Florida statues were created; that relocating muscovies into the wild is not an appropriate solution to your nuisance problems. However you can relocate muscovies to a captive situation where they are not able to come in contact with wildlife or escape.

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