Mission Madagascar

Few places on earth can rival the scale of wetland destruction witnessed in Madagascar.

In the past 60 years, as much as 60% of Madagascar's wetlands have been destroyed.

It all starts with the world’s rarest duck: the Madagascar pochard (or ‘Mad Poch’ as we affectionately call it). Twice declared extinct, a small population – of some 20-25 Mad Poch – was discovered at the remote Lake Matsaborimena in northwest Madagascar in 2006.

But, because it is formed from a volcanic crater, the depth of Matsaborimena is too great for Mad Poch chicks to dive and feed. Ducklings often starve before they are old enough to hatch their own young. A new home is needed.

WWT scoured Madagascar to find a site able to support Mad Poch. And we found it at Lake Sofia – the most intact remnant of the once vast wetlands of Bealanana in north Madagascar. We need to act now. With the pace of destruction it will be too late in 5 years to save Lake Sofia.

But the lives of more than 6,000 people depend on fishing & farming around Lake Sofia, so it’s not possible to tackle the threat to the Mad Poch unless we address the fragile balance between the needs of wetlands, wildlife & people.

To save the Mad Poch, its future habitat must be safeguarded. To achieve that will mean ensuring that the people of Lake Sofia – and beyond – can work together to secure a future for their home and families for generations to come.

To achieve 5 mission objectives

  • 1

    Bring the Mad Poch back from the brink

  • 2

    Stop over-harvesting and erosion

  • 3

    Stop the descent of wetland into wasteland

  • 4

    Prevent environmental destruction through people power

  • 5

    Change lives for generations to come

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Read more about how WWT and its partners are working to save the Madagascar pochard and the wetlands it depends upon here