The Madagascar teal is one of the world’s rarest and least known species of wildfowl.
A survey in 1992 revealed this shy and retiring teal to have a desperately small population (as little as 16), thought to be largely due to encroachment on their habitat by humans - the birds needed urgent help.
Durrell decided to begin a captive breeding programme in Jersey and in 1993 four wild teal were caught, which frustratingly all turned out to be male (these little ducks are notoriously difficult to sex). It was not until 1995, with the arrival of two females, which had proved rather elusive, that the captive breeding part of the rescue strategy got underway. In 1998 the Madagascar teal bred at Durrell for the first time ever in captivity, and to date around 100 young have been reared at the Trust's headquarters.