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March 2015

“Three Little Ducks Went out One Day…”

11027969_10152594221787041_5432568177538710850_oDurrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is excited to share the hatching of three important ducklings.

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10866111_10152594221957041_5111781752943873373_oPhoto Credits: Floriot Randrianarimangason

These three Madagascar Pochard ducklings are special in several ways. They are considered a 'Lazarus species' (once declared extinct, but thankfully rediscovered), with a wild population of under 30 individuals, literally 'hanging on' in an environment where their young almost never survive.

They are also the first hatchlings to be parent-reared at Durrell's Antsohihy facility. This means that if they survive (ducklings are notoriously delicate), they could go back to wetlands that teams in Madagascar are working with local communities to restore.

The ducklings parents have been carefully selected using genetic information provided by students from Cardiff University who have been contributing valuable research to the all-out attempt (from Durrell, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) and the Malagasy Government) to save the Madagascar Pochard from extinction.

For more information on the project, please see their website: www.durrell.org/wildlife/species-index/madagascar-pochard

 


Isn't She Lovely?

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A female Reticulated Giraffe born at the Buffalo Zoo has been named Zuri, which means “lovely” or “beautiful” in Swahili.
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IMG_8348Photo Credit:  Buffalo Zoo

Zuri was born on February 21 to 20-year-old Agnes and 3-year-old Moke.  Giraffe mothers deliver their babies standing up, and the babies typically stand on their own within an hour of birth.

Giraffes are pregnant for around 15 months, and calves usually stay with their mothers for nearly two years. 

On Africa’s plains and grasslands, Giraffe populations have fallen by nearly half since 1999 to about 80,000 animals today. (This figure includes all nine subspecies of Giraffes.)  However, as a species, Giraffes are not listed as Endangered – rather, they are classified as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Reticulated Giraffes, native to Kenya, number less than 5,000.   The world’s tallest animals face threats from disease, human encroachment, and illegal hunting.  

See more photos of Zuri below.

 

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