This summer, SPES set up a free educational photo booth on the shore of Lost Lagoon. We provided a fun activity for people to have a laugh and connect with nature while reminding them that ducks can find their own food. Our goal was to discourage wildlife feeding in a creative and interactive way.
Most people know that feeding wildlife is harmful to both the animals and environment. Regardless of the type of food, feeding birds draws them together in unnaturally high concentrations of individuals and species which increases the risk of disease. All the extra nutrients input into the system can cause algae blooms and increases rodent populations, too.
Park visitors, both locals and tourists alike, enjoyed the opportunity to take a fun picture. People thanked us for our efforts to discourage feeding and for helping the water fowl. Even when we approached individuals who were feeding the ducks, they were respectful and apologized for feeding the birds; they were unaware of all of the negative impacts feeding causes and were grateful for the information.
In total, we directly engaged 738 people at our Quack Snacks photo booth. 98 different groups of people—and a few dogs—joined our cause and agreed to let ducks find their own food. Check out some of the photos on the board near Lost Lagoon, on facebook, and on twitter with #QuackSnacks. In the words of our wonderful intern, Cassiya: “We used enough puns to quack everyone up.”
By Greg Hart, Urban Wildlife Programs Coordinator