Devenish Wildfowling and Conservation Club (DWCC) has been erecting nest tunnels for wild ducks on Lough Erne for over 15 years. The nest tunnels provide a safe habitat for wild ducks to rear one or sometimes two broods per season, with each brood generally consisting of 11-13 eggs.
To date 40 tunnels are installed and some are now being predated by Mink, which can easily access the nest by climbing the wooden post which supports each tunnel.
The aim of this project is to reduce the level of predation on the tunnels by replacing the wooden posts with galvanised steel poles, and to reduce the time required to refurbish each tunnel every season by fitting an environmentally friendly tunnel cover.
Mink cannot scale the steel poles to access the tunnel, thus protecting the eggs from predation and ensuring the population of wild duck on Lough Erne is sustained and allowed to flourish. The new tunnel covering will negate the need to re-stuff the tunnel walls with straw each season. Club members will erect the steel poles, recover the tunnels and conduct site visits (via a tour boat) to view some tunnels in situ. Three local groups (a school, a charity and a public group) will be invited to view some tunnels and visit Devenish Island where we will present the various conservation activities carried out by the local Wildfowlers.
Operation Duck Tunnel – Tour of The Devenish Wildfowlers Conservation project.
The Devenish Wildfowlers ran three tours on Tuesday 21st September 2021 to introduce Fermanagh Community Groups, Erne Integrated College and members of the general public to their national, award winning wildfowl conservation project.
This tour was enjoyed from the comfort of the Lady of Lake pleasure cruiser. The tour cruised up Lower Lough Erne to Devenish Island, and members of DWCC shared their conservation work.