Adorable Ducklings Offer Hope for the World’s Rarest Bird (Video)

Written by Stephen Messenger

With a wild population which stands at around 22 individuals, Madagascar Pochards are believed to be the most critically endangered bird in the world. But thanks to the recent hatching of 18 adorable young hatchlings in captivity, conservationists are hopeful that this species of duck can be brought back from the edge of extinction.

Although these ducks were once common throughout Madagascar, decades of habitat loss and the predation of invasive species, they were believed to have been wiped out entirely by the early 1990s. But when a small group of less than two dozen was rediscovered clinging to survival along the shores of a remote lake in 2006, biologists from the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) set about trying to revive their numbers.

And now, for the very first time, those endangered Madagascar Pochards have successfully bred in captivity — producing a batch of offspring that nearly doubles their numbers in the wild.

Did I mention they’re adorable?

Researchers studying this newfound population observed a troublingly high mortality rate among ducklings due to a high level of competition among adults to find food in the birds’ now limited haven. But with this first fruitful attempt at breeding them in captivity, the rare species’ chances for survival are far improved.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


Photo: Frank.Vassen/flickr

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Jane H.
Jane H.2 years ago

adorable-may his tribe increase

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe2 years ago

Oh, he's so adorable! I sure hope they can get their numbers up. It would be a shame if they become extinct.

Sheri D.
Sheri D.2 years ago

This is great! Thanks.

Manel Dias
Manel Dias2 years ago

Very encouraging and hopeful future for these duckies.!!!

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra2 years ago

Thank you TreeHugger, for Sharing this!

Claudia Cavallo
Claudia Cavallo2 years ago

wonderful, I hope this can be done in the future for other species too

Nancy Black
Nancy Black2 years ago

Great that we have a chance to bring them back. Hope this time, we do better by them.

Katherine Wright
Katherine Wright2 years ago

"I am forever appalled by the way we humans tame and treat animals for our own selfish ends. In the final analysis this arrogance that we display towards "lesser" life and towards nature is going to recoil on us. I am convinced that the deterioration in our humanity is directly related to our abuse of life and nature." {author unknown}

Edgar Zuim
Edgar Zuim2 years ago