‘Scottish net pen helps save African duck.’ Is there nothin we cannae dae?


(c) http://scienceblogs.com

I didn’t think that headline from Fish Update could be improved upon for eye-catching oddness.

The Madagascar Pochard Duck is close to extinction with as few as 30 birds living wild in one area. Wetland destruction presumably by humans is the cause. The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust has a programme to save the species by, until they are a more viable population, developing a captive population. They already have 100 birds but I suspect that’s still a long way from a viable population.

The big challenge, however, is how to release the captive-bred ducks back into the wild and this is where we, sometimes a bit wild ourselves, Scots come in. Kames Fish Farming have designed and built a release pen. It’s all very technical so I’ll just quote:

‘Key features of the duck pen included a platform for the birds to preen and rest, ramps to enable access to and from the enclosure, as well as lightweight construction so that it can be easily transported – an important consideration in a country with few roads and no power, transport or lifting equipment in the villages around the release lake. The enclosure for the ducks is made from knotless nylon netting with different mesh sizes to enable the ducks to be easily observed from outside, and also ensure they are secure and minimise the likelihood of predation. To enable the ducks to exit the enclosure, heavy duty zip openings were also included in the design.’

It seems to be working and the prospects for the duck are reasonably good though I can’t help thinking those humans will pose a threat to the returned ducks too at some point in the near future. What would work would be a fund to buy and protect some of the wetlands. Anyone out there fancy starting a crowdfund?


Footnote: The original article was written by a Jenny Hjul. Is that the same Jenny Hjul of the Herald, private school champion and wife of the monstrous Unionist Alan Cochrane of the Daily Torygraph? Has she had an epiphany, dumped those two nasty factors in her life and gone all ecological?

Footnote 2: I though a Madagascar Pochard might look a bit more exotic. I’ve seen better looking ducks in Scotland.


6 thoughts on “‘Scottish net pen helps save African duck.’ Is there nothin we cannae dae?

  1. Ludo Thierry September 6, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    Hi John – Hi all.

    John, I think you’re being rather un-gallant towards the Madagascar pochard duck – I think it’s a bit of a beauty myself. Am really pleased to know that some good Scottish know-how is being used to assist their reintroduction into the wilder areas.

    Hi Clydebuilt – that’s rotten news about Craig M being pursued in court. I haven’t picked up properly on the story yet but I understand the individual pursuing the case is someone from the Daily Mail (’nuff said). Do you know if there is an address for cheques? (I don’t do the various e-payment thingies). Arguably seems to be a bit of a pattern emerging here. Andy Wightman MSP is being pursued, Stu Campbell similar – and now Craig Murray. Hmm – I don’t think this passes the sniff test – do you?

    Good to see that Scotland continues to provide 5 universities in the TES top 200 global rankings. Did I hear someone say Too wee, Too poor, Too stupid?

    Thanks, Ludo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Contrary September 7, 2017 / 6:48 am

    A safe haven for ducks! Excellent – and I agree John, the wetlands need to be saved, lots of species are vulnerable with the destruction of habitats.

    Thankyou for the link Clydebuilt, I had an inkling last week that Craig was going through some kind of litigation – that Lewis chap does not seem a very likeable fellow, have to say. Hi Ludo, indeed we are still too wee too poor too stupid to,,, do what was it again? Oh aye stand on our own feet and release ourselves from the shackles of Westminster. People just need to read John’s blog for a month to realise we are just wee enough to make a good account of ourselves, just poor enough to be happy and comfortable in life, and just stupid enough to have an equal, fair society.

    Ah, getting off subject so quickly again, just to say Craig has just updated his blog to include where to send cheques and other ways to pay.

    And I agree, Ludo, the porchard duck is a fine looking beast 🙂


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