The Madagascar Pochard (Aythya innotata)

The Madagascar Pochard (Aythya innotata) is an extremely rare diving duck found in Madagascar. Here are some key facts about this critically endangered species:

  • Rediscovery: Thought to be extinct in the late 1990s, specimens of the Madagascar Pochard were rediscovered at Lake Matsaborimena near Bemanevika in Madagascar in 2006.
  • Captive Breeding Program: By 2017, a captive breeding program had produced a population of around 90 individuals.
  • Reintroduction to the Wild: The birds were reintroduced to the wild in December 2018.
  • Habitat: The Madagascar Pochard exclusively lives in inland wetlands in Madagascar, where it is endemic.
  • Description: It is a medium-sized duck with dark chestnut heads, chins, throats, and breasts.
  • It is a medium-sized duck with a distinctive black and white pattern on its body, along with a reddish-brown head.
  • Feeding: Unlike other diving ducks in the same genus, the Madagascar Pochard feeds mainly on aquatic insects, aquatic plants, and small invertebrates found in freshwater habitats.
  • Vocalizations: During display, the male utters a cat-like “wee-oow” and a rolling “rrr,” while the female gives a harsh squawk.

Conservation efforts are crucial to protect the Madagascar Pochard (Aythya innotata), a unique but endangered species. Our birding tour in Antananarivo can give you an opportunity to see this rare species.


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