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NC Bird Park Comes To The Rescue Of Near-Extinct Ducks In Trinidad









SCOTLAND NECK, N.C., Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The populations of two near-extinct species of ducks are on their way back to being restored in Trinidad, due in large part to the efforts of the Sylvan Heights Bird Park. Sylvan Heights is a non-profit organization located in Scotland Neck, NC. It is dedicated to educating the public about the importance of the conservation and research of waterfowl and wetland habitats worldwide. The organization reached a significant goal in this mission last month by completing a project to help endangered wild waterfowl in Trinidad.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130131/CL50999)

The project came at the request of the US Embassy in Trinidad four years ago. It focused on restoring the populations of two native species, the White-Faced Whistling Duck and the Bahama Pintail. Through unregulated hunting and habitat loss, these birds are facing near-extinction on the island. The Embassy asked Sylvan Heights to partner with the Pointe-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust in South Trinidad to help save the birds.

Sylvan Heights Executive Director Mike Lubbock traveled to Trinidad in early December with 24 ducks that were hatched and hand-reared at the facility's Avian Breeding Center. Pointe-a-Pierre will use the ducks to boost wild populations in Trinidad's wetlands.

"This is why we do what we do here at Sylvan Heights," said Lubbock. "When our birds are able to contribute to the health of the wild population, our mission is complete."

Lubbock, who is internationally renowned for his expertise in waterfowl propagation, will continue to advise Pointe-a-Pierre on best practices for breeding and rearing the two species. "We're absolutely thrilled to have these birds here," said Molly Gaskin, president of the Point-a-Pierre Wildfowl Trust. " If all goes as planned, these birds will again be as plentiful in Trinidad as they once were."

Sylvan Heights would like to acknowledge Dr. Cynthia Lovell Elias, a veterinarian from Roanoke Rapids, NC who helped certify the birds; the US Fish and Wildlife Service; the NC Department of Agriculture; the US Department of Agriculture; and American Airlines for its help with transporting the birds to Trinidad.

More information about the project can be found through a video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44wpgFir3qM&feature. More information about Mike Lubbock, known worldwide as "The Waterfowl Man," and how to visit Sylvan Heights can be found at www.shwpark.com. Sylvan Heights can be contacted at 252-826-3186 or through email at info@shwpark.com.

About Mike Lubbock and Sylvan Heights Bird Park

Mike Lubbock's career began at the prestigious Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge, England. He has received 17 world and 15 North American First Breeding Awards and is a member of the International Wild Waterfowl Association's Hall of Fame.

Sylvan Heights Bird Park has the largest collection of waterfowl in the world and is the largest bird park in North America. Its continentally-themed exhibits offer visitors views of some of the world's most endangered waterfowl and other birds.

 

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