Nonnatives - Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck - Cairina moschata

Florida's Exotic Wildlife. Species detail.

First year: 1967

Extirpated year:

Established status: Populations are confirmed breeding and apparently self-sustaining for 10 or more consecutive years.

Estimated Florida range: 67 counties  At least 10 years

Statewide trend: Expanding

Threats to natives:  Muscovy ducks have the potential to transmit disease to and interbreed with Florida's native waterfowl.

Species Account: Muscovy Ducks are native to Central and South America, but the feral form in Florida is a heavier bodied, domesticated duck. Domestic birds brought into Florida have escaped or been released and subsequently formed feral populations in close association with humans. The initial introduction date into Florida is unknown, but escapes and releases have been numerous and are still continuing. Muscovy Ducks can be a nuisance to landowners because of their droppings and aggressive behavior. For information about how to handle problems visit our nuisance muscovies website. 

They feed on aquatic plants, grasses, seeds, insects (Johnsgard 1978), and human handouts. They breed in urban and suburban lakes and on farms throughout Florida.

Habitats: Central or core urban area, Lake, Low density suburban development, areas peripheral to core urban areas, and small towns

CountyFirst YearExtirpated YearBreeding statusNotes
Northwest     At least 10 years  
North Central     At least 10 years  
Northeast     At least 10 years  
Southwest     At least 10 years  
South     At least 10 years  


James, F. C. 1997. Nonindigenous Birds. Pages 139-156 In Strangers Among Us: Impact and management of nonindigenous species in Florida. (Simberloff,D., D. Schmitz, and E. Wilson, eds.) Island Press, Washington D.C.

Johnsgard, P. A. 1978. Ducks, geese, and swans of the world. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Links to more information

Back to Nonnative Birds

FWC Facts:
The Florida Constitution authorizes the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to enact rules and regulations regarding the state's fish and wildlife resources.

Learn More at AskFWC