Deforestation and big agriculture almost drove these rare birds to extinction — now, conservationists have seen at least a dozen ducklings in the wild after starting a breeding program.
Between 1970 and 2006, there was only one confirmed pochard sighting. Scientists believe the rare bird nearly went extinct because of a dwindling food supply impacted by deforestation. But everything changed when a group of pochards was spotted in a volcanic lake in Northern Madagascar.
Conservationists have since begun a captive-breeding program. They released 21 pochard ducks into the wild in December 2018 and have seen at least 12 new ducklings.
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