Scots ingenuity in pochard preservation is ignored! Minister calls for waterproof Union Jack stickers


The Madagascar pochard has been ubiquitous in UK media over the last two days because its not quite so ubiquitous in the wild and because an international team, which includes WWT, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, The Peregrine Fund and the Government of Madagascar is being led by the Gloucestershire-based WWT.

Central to the plan have been floating pens from ‘Scottish salmon farms.’ No further detail on the pens is given and we are left to think they were just imaginatively sourced by the WWT.

As I watched the BBC extended report from Gloucestershire, I thought to myself ‘pochard, why does that ring a bell?’ and did a quick search of my blog. From September 2017, I found:

‘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 [not required for most varieties of salmon], ramps to enable access to and from the enclosure [again not required for most salmon], 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 [ooh that will cost ye!], and also ensure they are secure and minimise the likelihood of predation. To enable the ducks to exit the enclosure, heavy duty zip openings [can ducks open zips?] were also included in the design.’’

Quack if you think I’m being unfair to the Gloucester-based WWT, or a tad paranoid, but why did we not hear of the modifications to the pens, made in Scotland? Have the pens got Union Jack stickers on them?

Footnote: Can we trust the Peregrine Fund to be involved in the preservation of ducks?


4 thoughts on “Scots ingenuity in pochard preservation is ignored! Minister calls for waterproof Union Jack stickers

  1. William Henderson December 29, 2018 / 1:20 pm

    Footnote: Can we trust the Peregrine Fund to be involved in the preservation of ducks?

    Definitely ‘no’! Everyone knows that peregrines and pochards make poor partners. 🙂

    Now – off topic but maybe worth a mention. The BBC News website has a positive article about the Queensferry Crossing and its superior performance in high winds – Headline: “Queensferry Crossing ‘improving reliability’.”

    The article appeared yesterday early evening and is still available today at 1300. Is this a record? – or are the internal ‘thought police’ away on their holidays?

    Liked by 1 person

    • bigjon999 December 29, 2018 / 4:11 pm

      Aye its still there, but its a bit grudging the headline has “improving reliability” in inverted commas, like its made up and then it has: The Queensferry Crossing has remained open on 20 occasions when the Forth Road Bridge would have been forced to close due to high winds, according to transport chiefs. – the last 4 words implying that it might not be true, just a statement by someone involved.
      Still I suppose we shouldn’t complain, at least it is there.

      Liked by 1 person

      • William Henderson December 29, 2018 / 4:48 pm

        All you say is true – and I had noticed the quotes etc. Also the ‘nice negative touch of the photo of the truck, that shouldn’t have been there anyway, on its side on the old bridge.

        Still, we’re talking about the Scottish Nomedia here. Truth has to be wrung out of them when it seems to be good for Scotland.

        Liked by 1 person

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