terrestrial

Ruddy Duck

Length 35-43cm (14-17″). A very rare visitor to the Cayman Islands, with only one report from Little Cayman in 1993. The Ruddy Duck is a “stiff-tailed duck”, named after its spiky tail, which is often held vertically in display. The Ruddy Duck is the centre of a conservation controversy in Europe. Imported into the UK from the United States as an ornamental species, it subsequently escaped and began to breed with the similar European White-faced duck: an example of separate species being able to interbreed, and produce fertile hybrid offspring. As the hybrids mature and begin breeding themselves, the numbers of pure-bred White-faced ducks are plummeting, leading to much debate as to the best means to preserve the White-faced duck population.

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