Rare Madagascan pochards quack on

By the late 1990s, the rarest diving duck in the world, the Madagascan pochard, was considered extinct. In 2006, the discovery of one small community of pochards in remote Lake Matsaborimena in northern Madagascar provided hope that the birds might flourish again.

extinct duck species, Madagascan pochards, breeding in captivity, saving rare species

The pochards’ declining numbers have been attributed to degraded wetlands following agricultural conversion, deforestation and the introduction of non-native fish.

A conservation breeding center in collaboration with the government of Madagascar was started. The goal of both The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) and the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (Durrell) was to collect eggs to start a captive breeding program that would safeguard the species.

The ducks have now bred in captivity for the first time – 18 ducklings have hatched, bringing the world population to just 60.

The pochards will quack on. The ultimate aim of the program is to release the Madagascan pochards back into the wild.

Let us hope. Take a look at a video of the duckings.

extinct duck species, Madagascan pochards, breeding in captivity, saving rare species

Image: © Durrell

One Response to “Rare Madagascan pochards quack on”

  1. EileenO Says:

    Lovely post for Easter, the ducklings are adorable.

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