lollipop sticks save ducks

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With the help of lollipop sticks, ducks are back at St Serf's Island, in the middle of Loch Leven, after almost disappearing. It was one of the largest groups of nesting ducks in inland Europe at 1,000 nesting pairs. But in 2007, the duck colony almost disappeared. Ever since, Scottish Natural.Heritage (SNH), which manages the reserve, has been trying to discover the cause of the ducks' demise and restore their habitat..The culprits, it turns out, were several foxes, which were removed with the help of the Kinross Estate Company. The foxes probably crossed over to the island in the winter of 2006-07 when there were unusually low water levels. .But with the foxes removed, SNH has found the duck colony is on its way to recovery this year..Both rats and foxes find ducks' eggs a tasty treat, while foxes eat the ducks themselves, as well. SNH concluded foxes were probably to blame after making sure rats hadn't reached the island. They did this by leaving lollipop sticks spread with lard and chocolate as bait - a sure-fire way to find rats..To help the duck colony re-establish itself, SNH has also just completed a major project to restore nesting areas. Over the years, a small area of willow had spread and encroached into the reed and tall grass favoured by nesting ducks..The work had to be timed for August, after the nesting season had finished and before tens of thousands of geese arrive back from Iceland, Greenland and Siberia in September to winter at Loch Leven, along with 20,000 of wintering ducks. St Serf's Island is one of only three traditional spots on Loch Leven where geese congregate to roost at night and loaf during the day..The first stage of the work, carried out by forestry contractors, involvedtangled willow scrub and then chipping of as much of the branches as possible. The second part of the project was to clear out two.old ponds which over the years had become completely overgrown. .Neil Mitchell, Loch Leven national nature reserve manager, said: "This
With the help of lollipop sticks, ducks are back at St Serf's Island, in the middle of Loch Leven, after almost disappearing. It was one of the largest groups of nesting ducks in inland Europe at 1,000 nesting pairs. But in 2007, the duck colony almost disappeared. Ever since, Scottish Natural.Heritage (SNH), which manages the reserve, has been trying to discover the cause of the ducks' demise and restore their habitat..The culprits, it turns out, were several foxes, which were removed with...
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