Madagascar pochards were reported to have gone extinct but there was a small group of them still around. A group of conservationists got into action to rehabilitate the Endangered Species by drawing up plans to give them a new lease of life. They have been at it for the past decade and have succeeded to a certain extent. The flock of birds is now in the world's first floating aviary on Lake Sofia in Madagascar.

Credit for this goes to Gloucestershire-based Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust who are behind the project, as revealed by the Daily Mail UK. These Madagascar pochards thrive in water and feed underwater. The team had to overcome logistical hurdles and continuously revised their plans to evolve a suitable strategy for tending to the handful of birds. One was to convert Scottish salmon-farming cages into aviaries which were sent to Madagascar and assembled there on-site. Madagascar is a unique environment. For example, Madagascar is where giant frogs used to eat dinosaurs.

It was a creditable effort

WWT Gloucester joined hands with other Wildlife Conservation Trusts and the Government of Madagascar to establish the facility and enable a handful of Madagascar pochards to flourish. It was necessary that they adapted to their new surroundings so that their chances of survival would increase. After they hatched, it was time for them to go to Lake Sofia in Madagascar. It was a long 124-mile journey by dirt road to the floating aviaries.

Once released from the aviaries, they adapted to the lake with ease and merged into the company of other wild ducks. They would return to the floating aviaries to feed and roost.

The conservationists are worried about their safety.

The state of the wetlands in Madagascar are a matter of concern because of human encroachment. Hence, their survival chances will be poor if they go beyond the boundaries of the lake.

WWT creates history

According to the BBC, Rob Shaw is the head of conservation programs at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. He explained that Madagascar pochards were believed to be extinct and the few that remain were found in a place that was totally unsuitable for survival.

The threats they faced were environmental issues like sedimentation, invasive species, pollution, and poor agricultural practices.

In order to resurrect the species, an international team with WWT descended on the scene, rescued a few eggs and raised them in captivity. Their next action was to locate a site where the birds could thrive and they selected Lake Sofia. This is an example of how support by people can bring back one of the most endangered species from the brink of extinction.

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