Staff at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust headquarters in Slimbridge, Glos, celebrate the arrival of two very rare Baer pochard ducklings.
The birds hatched in June in Slimbridge’s ‘Mission Possible’ exhibit – the first time Slimbridge has managed to breed the critically endangered species, which is threatened with extinction.
Phoebe Vaughan, Assistant Director of Living Collections, said: “Baer’s Pochard is the latest in a long list of ‘little brown ducks’ to have needed our help and understanding over the past few decades.
“The Aviculture team is delighted to be able to do our part to raise awareness of both the Baer’s pochard, and also incidentally the Madagascar pochard, which this small family represents so well for us.
“When you create a habitat, they will come, they will reproduce and they will thrive! This is such a valuable message for our visitors and future generations.”
Baer’s pochard was once a common species throughout East Asia, but the species is now at risk of becoming the first widespread continental duck to go extinct.
Baer’s pochard was classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2012. There was once an estimated population of around 20,000, but now fewer than 1,000 individuals remain in the ‘wild state.
“WWT’s wild bird collection is home to a good number of Baer’s pochards in captivity and the Trust’s living collection team have a good record of breeding rare and endangered species,” a carrier said. word.
“They have produced and contributed to best practice guidelines, which help conservationists save species that cannot save themselves.
“Visitors to the Slimbridge Wetland Center can see Baer’s new pochard family at the Mission Possible exhibit. They are thriving in their new home. Exhibit Engagers are on hand to answer any questions visitors may have. could have and help bring this exhibit and the conservation stories of WWT to life.”