Leave waterfowl, turtles alone

Published 1:00 am Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Now that spring has arrived, many people will take strolls along the city’s boardwalk adjacent to the North Carolina Estuarium to view the wildlife, particularly the waterfowl and the numerous turtles. That’s one reason the boardwalk was built.

And many people, especially children, will feed the ducks, geese and turtles that call the manmade wetlands home. Some will listen to the frogs croak as a fine rain falls on those wetlands. The boardwalk is a place where people may commune with nature.

Many waterfowl are nesting along the wetlands at this time of year, so we urge folks not to disturb the ducks and geese as they nest in an effort to hatch eggs. And when those ducklings and goslings are hatched, leave them alone so they can mature.

Don’t even contemplate trying to catch the turtles for turtle soup. That was a problem several years ago — poachers raiding the wetlands at all hours of the day and night. While in the wetlands pools, the turtles are pretty much a captive congregation. For those who want turtles to eat, there a plenty of them in the Pamlico River, where they have a chance of avoiding human predators.

The turtles, ducks and geese have enough trouble dealing with other predatory wildlife without adding human predators into the mix. Perhaps adopting an informal “no-touch” policy for the wildlife around the boardwalk would be something to consider.