A Baer’s pochard hatching is extremely rare, even rarer is footage of this magnificent event. Today Chester Zoo has given you the opportunity to view this majestic spectacle as they welcome one of these ducklings into the world.
Lead bird keeper for Chester Zoo, Amy Vercoe said, “These ducklings tend to hatch at night meaning we miss the big moment when they finally manage to push their way out.”
“On this occasion, the action happened in the daytime and I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to catch the beginnings of the duckling’s new life on camera.”
“Baer’s pochard are incredibly rare and there can’t be many people who have witnessed a hatching, so it was a real privilege to see it,” she added.
This duckling joins six others which have successfully hatched this year at Chester. They are a boost for the global population of Baer’s pochards which is estimated to be just a few hundred in the wild and around 250 in zoo’s.
Andrew Owens curator of birds for Chester Zoo said, “Our team will be keeping a very close eye on the seven new ducklings and giving them a helping hand along the way to make sure that we get as many as possible through to adulthood, as every single one is absolutely critical to the long-term survival of the species.”
Their population has been decimated by hunting and the destruction of Asia’s lakes and rich aquatic meadows where they make their home. Currently the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list the species as critically endangered.
“This extremely rare species of duck is on the very edge of extinction, so these new arrivals will make a vital difference to their ever-decreasing population numbers. We’re working really hard with zoos in the UK and across Europe, as part of a breeding programme, to ensure that we have a viable captive population if their numbers continue to decline,” added Owens.
Photo Credit: Chester Zoo