WWT is delighted to announce that Mark Carwardine, the co-star of BBC2’s Last Chance to See with Stephen Fry, has become our new vice president.
The charity is thrilled to welcome Mark – a zoologist and keen conservationist with many accolades to his name, including as a writer, photographer and TV and radio presenter – who has already lent his full support to our Madagascar pochard appeal.
WWT is currently fighting to save the Madagascan pochard – one of the rarest species in the world which has twice been feared extinct.
A locally based team has successfully reared 17 female ducks and six males in a special breeding facility. But the project has much further to go before it can be declared a success.
Speaking to WWT’s Waterlife magazine, Mark told us that he was shocked by the rapid destruction of Madagascar’s natural environment, but that projects like the Madagascar Pochard Appeal give him hope for the future.
I take my hat off to the WWT team responsible for the Madagascar pochard. What an amazing, inspired, daring operation – and, not only that, it seems to be working beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
“I’ve been to Madagascar a number of times over the last 20 years and I am utterly shocked by how its natural environment is being plundered and destroyed,” he said.
“If we let it all disappear it will be a tremendous loss – not just to Madagascar but to the world as a whole.
“So I take my hat off to the WWT team responsible for the Madagascar pochard. What an amazing, inspired, daring operation – and, not only that, it seems to be working beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.
“It just goes to show what can be achieved with good people in the field. It’s projects like this that give me hope for the future.”
Mark added that he thinks WWT’s work to preserve wetlands in the UK and around the world is “absolutely crucial”.
“Sadly, despite their importance, rivers, lakes, fens, marshes, floodplains, estuaries and other wetlands don’t seem to get as much publicity or public sympathy as, say, tropical rainforests or seas and oceans.”
“WWT has its work cut out just trying to protect wetlands in the UK, of course, but it’s essential for all that expertise and all those years of invaluable experience to be put to good use in other parts of the world as well,” he said.
WWT members can read our full interview with Mark Carwardine in the July issue of Waterlife, which will be arriving with them shortly.
Not a member of WWT? See our membership page to find out how you can obtain a free subscription to our Waterlife magazine and free entry to all nine of our regional reserves – as well as give your support to valuable projects such as our Madagascar pochard one.
See Mark talking about the Madagascar pochard appeal here, and read the story so far in our pochard pages.
Photo credit: Garth Cripps