Endangered Ducks Return

The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust with grant funding through the GEF/SGP/UNDP project: “Biodiversity and Human Linkages”, is collaborating with Sylvan Heights Waterfowl, North Carolina, USA to re-introduce 2 species of our critically endangered species of waterfowl (wild ducks) through the Trust’s Breed & Release progammes.

The White faced whistling ducks (Dendrocygna viduata) and most of the White-cheeked pintails (Anas Bahamensis) in the Trust’s breeding stocks were destroyed by feral hounds during the struggle to protect the ecosystem services of the Nariva Swamp, from the illegal large-scale rice farmers.  The Nariva Swamp is Trinidad & Tobago’s first Ramsar site of International Importance.

Through the Breed & Release Programme at the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust with these two species of Trinidad and Tobago’s wild ducks, 62 White faced Whistling Ducks were successfully released between 1988 and 1998 with 142 White cheeked pintails released between 1982 and 2002.

As a part of the 45th Anniversary celebrations of the Trust, Sylvan Heights Waterfowl with world renowned aviculturist, Mr. Mike Lubbock as Director, was approached by the Trust through the U.S. Embassy here, to provide breeding pairs of these locally endangered ducks so that the previously successful breed & release programmes for these ducks could re-start.

After 10 years since the tragic loss of the Trust’s breeding stock, with the support of many kind people, these ducks have been brought back to Trinidad & Tobago to once again form part of the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust’s breed and release programme. Now they have to do their part; produce and proliferate!The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust has collaborated with the Ministry of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs, Animal Production and Health Division, Veterinary Doctors at UWI (Mount Hope Campus), the U.S. Embassy, GEF/SGP/UNDP and Sylvan Heights Waterfowl to make this long-awaited dream come true.

 What a wonderful way to celebrate, the now 47 years of service to Trinidad & Tobago in positive action and the wise management of our God-given Natural Resources! 

 
White-faced whistling ducks in their PaPWFT quarantine aviary.   White-cheeked pintails in their PaPWFT quarantine aviary
     
 
Mr.Mike Lubbock, Sylvan Heights Waterfowl,USA, accompanied the ducks to ensure their safe arrival in Trinidad.   White cheeked pintails @ home in PaPWFT quarantine aviary