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Wild about new arrivals.

STAFF at a North East wildlife centre went quackers at some new arrivals.

Twenty-four of the world's rarest ducks were successfully hatched in a rescue mission at Washington Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust.

Warden Owen Joiner is helping to pull the Madagascar pochard back from the brink of extinction.

Only 20 of the adult birds - including just six females - survive at one small lake in northern Madagascar. They have hatched young successfully in recent years, but nearly all have died before they fledged.

Last month Owen went to Madagascar as part of a team from WWT, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and The Peregrine Fund.

Ducklings from eggs found at the lake are being hatched and cared for in a temporary breeding facility at a hotel 12 hours' journey-time away.

Owen, 33, has been involved in running breeding programmes for endangered species at the site on the banks of the River Wear. This has involved collecting eggs and hatching them in incubators.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 20, 2009
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