UK charity WWT has been awarded a $49,600 grant by the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) for its work to save the world’s rarest duck, the Madagascar pochard. The conservation charity has been working in the northern regions of the island to restore a vast wetland, Lake Sofia, back to its former glory, to help support the animals and the communities that depend on it for their livelihoods.
To do this, WWT have been working with communities to develop sustainable ways of managing their natural environment, from education and training to securing land rights and encouraging more diverse agricultural practices. They have also been working across the country to promote better management of wetlands, creating a national network of wetland managers and providing them with the skills and tools they need to maintain them. In 2018, WWT and partner Durrell Wildlife Conservation Fund released a flock of Madagascar pochards, bred in captivity, onto the lake with the help of villagers – and they bred successfully last year.
The DCF, celebrating its 25th anniversary year, has been supporting local efforts around the world aimed at saving wildlife, inspiring action and protecting the planet with more than $100 million distributed to non-profit organizations since 1995.
Project Manager Peter Cranswick welcomed the news. He said:
“We’ve made many strides towards improving the condition and management of Lake Sofia, so much so that we’ve been able to reintroduce a near-extinct duck to the wetland, but importantly go beyond that - we’ve also been able to help the communities there who rely on it.
“This year has been a difficult year for charities and conservation has taken a big hit, but thanks to the continued support of the Disney Conservation Fund, we can build on the advances we’ve made so far to improve wetland management across northern Madagascar.”
DCF grant recipients are selected based on their efforts to implement comprehensive community wildlife conservation programs, stabilize and increase populations of at-risk animals and engage communities in conservation in critical ecosystems around the world.
For information on Disney’s commitment to conserve nature and a complete list of grant recipients, visit www.disney.com/conservation.