Flooding adaptation

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:36 PM

“In terms of direct mortality, you won’t see much of that,” said John Coluccy, director of conservation planning for Ducks Unlimited.

According to Coluccy, certain wildlife along the Grand River can sense when nature is out of balance and can move out of the way before being significantly impacted.

“For mobile species like ducks, the impacts are quite low,” he said. “They are kind of buffered from the effects.”

Coluccy noted that critters such as Canadian geese and swans are more susceptible to flooding, but he didn’t expect any long-term issues from the recent disaster.

Over time, animals become aware of when flooding occurs, Coluccy said. When it happens, it can create and maintain a balanced habitat and ecosystem.

“It’s a good thing for wildlife,” he said. “It’s not good when people are effected.”

Others in the know share Coluccy's positive spirit about waterfowl.

Ottawa County Parks naturalist Curtis Dykstra said he hasn’t seen firsthand any damage or negative impact to ducks and geese from the disaster.

“Some nests could have flooded during the flood, but we haven’t noticed any significant impact,” he said.

There may be instances in which ducks delay laying their eggs because of the disruption in their environment. This, Dykstra said, would be evident when young waterfowl show up later in the season.

Experts say the impact of the flooding was minimal for fish, too.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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