Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman
The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust in Trinidad collaborated with avicultural organisations to reintroduce 2 endangered species of waterfowl through the Trust’s Breed & Release progammes in 2012 and 2013.
The White-faced whistling ducks (Dendrocygna viduata) and most of the White-cheeked or Bahama pintails (Anas bahamensis) in the Trust’s breeding stocks were destroyed by feral hounds during the struggle to protect the ecosystem services of the Nariva Swamp, from the illegal large-scale rice farmers. The Nariva Swamp is Trinidad & Tobago’s first Ramsar site of international importance.
Through the Breed & Release Programme at the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust with these two species of Trinidad and Tobago’s wild ducks, 62 White faced Whistling Ducks were successfully released between 1988 and 1998 with 142 White cheeked pintails released between 1982 and 2002.
As a part of the 45th Anniversary celebrations of the Trust, Sylvan Heights Bird Park with world renowned aviculturist, Mr. Mike Lubbock as Director, was approached by the Trust through the U.S. Embassy here, to provide breeding pairs of these locally endangered ducks so that the previously successful breed & release programmes for these ducks could re-start.
After 10 years since the tragic loss of the Trust’s breeding stock, with the support of many kind people, these ducks have been brought back to Trinidad & Tobago in December 2012, to once again form part of the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust’s breed and release programme. Now they have to do their part; produce and proliferate! The Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust has collaborated with the Ministry of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs, Animal Production and Health Division, Veterinary Doctors at UWI (Mount Hope Campus), the U.S. Embassy, GEF/SGP/UNDP and Sylvan Heights Waterfowl to make this long-awaited dream come true. Read more here.
In 2013, a big flock white-cheeked pintails (Anas bahamensis) and white-faced whistling ducks (Dendrocygna viduata) were transported from the Netherlands to the isles of Trinidad and Tobago. The birds were collected by members of Aviornis International. Their goal was to build a new breeding stock at the Point-à-Pierre Wildfowl Trust.
Several breeders of Aviornis and some of the Hungarian association of avicuturists helped to collect these birds. All the birds arrived in perfect condition and now live in large aviairies and swim around in the big natural ponds of the Trust. Read more here (in Dutch).
Together with a young breeding stock sent by Sylvan Heights Birds Park, the Trust hopes to conitnue its successful "breed and release" programme for these species. It is, again, a beautiful example of the importance of populations of bird species in avicultural collections (ex-situ).
Above: white-faced whistling duck in flight, Bahama pintails in background
Above: female Bahama pintail, close-up