'World's rarest duck' returned to the wild by charity founded by Gerald Durrell

The Madagascar pochard has returned to its ancestral lake after years of conservation efforts by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Credit: PA

A breed of duck, described as 'the world's rarest', has returned to its ancestral home in Madagascar with help from the Jersey charity founded by conservationist Gerald Durrell.

The Madagascar pochard was at one point thought to be extinct but has now returned to Lake Alaotra where it first originated as a species.

It is the first time it has been seen there for 30 years.

Efforts have been ongoing by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust to bring the species back from extinction - with a number of ducks having been bred in captivity since 2009.

A flock of them were released by the trust into Lake Sofia, in Northern Madagascar in 2021.

They have travelled over 300km to return to their ancestral site in Lake Alaotria.

Felix Razafindrajao, who coordinates the conservation effort for Durrell said the outcome "demonstrates the success" of the team's efforts.

He said: "Although some released individuals are returning to Lake Alaotra, the species' last site of observation, the release programme will continue this year to strengthen the population at the release site."

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