Behind the Scenes banner

This beautiful bird was thought to be extinct in the 1990s. Photo by Frank Vassen.

Our Quarters for Conservation (Q4C) initiative, which gives you the opportunity to “vote” for a conservation project on each visit to the Zoo, highlights three unique programs every three months. This spring, one of your choices is Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.

Durrell, which operates 50 field projects in 18 countries around the globe, will use its Q4C funds to protect the rarest duck in the world: the Madagascar pochard. As more people rely on lakes as sources of food and water, the pochards are being forced out of their natural habitat—leaving just 25 of these ducks surviving on a single lake: Lake Sofia.

Durrell will work with local communities to restore the lake; transport and release 32 pochards that have been bred in human care onto the lake; provide food for the ducks; and monitor these birds post-release.

By studying this species, researchers will improve their knowledge of threats to the pochards—as well as ecology and habitat use in the area—in order to release more of these magnificent birds into their natural range.

To cast your vote for Durrell, visit the Zoo and drop your token into the corresponding Q4C box! Stay tuned for spotlights on this cycle’s other unique conservation projects.