10 Aug 2012

The critically endangered duo are being hand-reared by the bird keeping team here at Chester Zoo after they were abandoned by their parents.

Experts suggest that only a few hundred pairs of the species, known as Baer’s Pochard, are left in the wild. This is a result of hunting and loss of their habitat in Siberia and eastern Asia where they were once commonly found.

Chester Zoo is one of the few institutions in the world that is breeding the rare species and hopes to play a vital role in their long-term survival.

Our Curator of Birds, Andrew Owen, said:

“There is a plan to establish a European-wide breeding population, which will act as an insurance, should the species continue to decline in the wild.

“We hope that these little ducklings and the expertise of Chester Zoo’s bird keeping staff will play an important part in saving this species from extinction.”

When old enough, the ducklings will join the breeding group in one of the zoo’s wetland aviaries.