South Padre Island installs power line markers to save ducks

Redhead Duck // U.S. National Park Service Photo

South Padre Island officials have teamed up to save hundreds of migratory ducks from dying after hitting power lines on the north end of the island.

Since the end of January, the City of South Padre Island has been looking into multiple reports of waterfowl deaths at the pond located in front of the Pearl South Padre Hotel.

A large number of wintering redhead ducks had been killed after leaving the pond and striking overhead power lines.

South Padre Island officials contacted both American Electrical Power (AEP) and Time Warner Cable Company to install safety markers on the existing overhead lines that may be associated with the bird TMs deaths.

City officials submitted deceased the duck carcasses to a lab in Corpus Christi that is assisting with recent water fowl deaths.

The water from the pond where the dead ducks were found, has been tested and there is no evidence of red tide algae, which is known to disorient animals.

All samples sent to the lab have thus far tested positive for the presence of red tide in the animal tissue.

South Padre Island officials said they would continue to closely monitor the area and work with AEP and Time Warner to make sure the overhead utility lines are marked for the already impaired ducks.

The high levels of red tide algae impairs the ducks flight and authorities do ask that if ducks are seen acting out of the ordinary to please contact the City of South Padre Island at (956) 761-3226.