Animals
 Israel
Project #16868

Bring Brack Israel's Diving Ducks

by The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens, the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem
Diving Ducks Flying Free in Israel
Diving Ducks Flying Free in Israel

Hello Diving Duck supporters, we’re pleased to bring you our winter update.

Since we last reported to you, our ducklings have been thriving in the Marsh Aviary Exhibit and we have obtained permission from the Israel Nature and Parks Authority for another release. Accordingly, we are planning a December/January release of 10 ducklings at the Einot Gibbeton Nature Reserve, and 10 ducklings in the Zoo’s central lake (an open lake where they are free to fly away). The reason for the split is to monitor the preferred movement of the ducks after release and how location of release impacts upon distribution and migration.

Our remaining breeding core has been supplemented with new individuals obtained from a zoo in Jersey to increase genetic diversity.

Stay tuned for news about the forthcoming release into the wild of more of these beautiful aquatic birds. 

Warm Regards,

Nicole and the Avian Team at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Links:

New ducklings have hatched!
New ducklings have hatched!

Hello Diving Duck supporters, we’re pleased to bring you our summer update.

Of the 15 eggs recently produced by our breeding core in the Marsh Aviary exhibit, 8 were viable and hatched so we now have 8 new ducklings!

We plan to release the hatched chicks into the Hula Valley wetlands habitat in the Fall of this year. So, stay tuned for more news on that in our next report. Aside from being adorable, these individuals will strengthen Israel’s critically endangered wild population of diving ducks. As this species is declining across most of its range (extending across Europe and Asia), a local success can produce a large impact given the migratory nature of these birds.

Our remaining breeding core – recently supplemented with two new ducks from a European zoo to increase genetic diversity - reside in our Marsh Aviary Exhibit and we are hopeful that they will continue to produce so that we can continue to bring these beautiful and important birds back to Israel’s aquatic habitats.

Thank you all so much for being a part of this project’s success. 

Warm Regards,

Nicole and the Avian Team at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

The Jerusalem Zoo
The Jerusalem Zoo's National Egg Incubation Center
Marsh Aviary Exhibit, home to the breeding core
Marsh Aviary Exhibit, home to the breeding core
Diving Ducks swimming in the Marsh Aviary Exhibit
Diving Ducks swimming in the Marsh Aviary Exhibit

Links:

An egg being incubated in the breeding center
An egg being incubated in the breeding center

Hello Diving Duck supporters!

Since we last reported to you, our breeding core of Diving Ducks here at the Zoo has produced no less than 15 eggs! To ensure optimum chances for breeding success, all 15 eggs are being incubated in our breeding center.

In addition, to ensure appropriate genetic diversity within our breeding core, we recently welcomed a male-female pair of ducks from the United Kingdom.

If all goes well – as we hope it will – we plan to release the hatched chicks into the Hula Valley wetlands habitat in the Fall of this year. So, stay tuned for more news on that in our next report.  

Thank you all so much for your continued support of our conservation efforts for this species. Because Diving Ducks are migratory, even a small local conservation program can result in a larger global impact!

Warm Regards,

Nicole and the Avian Team at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

A duck from our breeding core in the Marsh Aviary
A duck from our breeding core in the Marsh Aviary
Diving Ducks are part of wetlands biodiversity
Diving Ducks are part of wetlands biodiversity

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Our local community participating in our efforts
Our local community participating in our efforts

Hello Diving Duck supporters!

At the beginning of 2015, it’s fitting to look back at our achievements since the start of this important conservation program:

  • 32 Diving Ducks were released into the wild in 2013
  • 26 individuals were released into the wild in 2014
  • 33 ducklings hatched at our incubation center in 2014
  • Ducks were released in both the north and south of Israel (in the Hula Valley, Enot Gibbeton and Tsora Valley nature reserves)

As we pointed out previously, breeding and reintroducing the species to the wild must be done in tandem with habitat conservation and community education. This is why we make a point of involving our community as much as possible when we release individuals into the wild. We know that nothing can beat the educational and emotional impact of seeing these beautiful birds fly to freedom in their natural habitat. We recently did this again when releasing some ducks at the Enot Gibbeton Nature Reserve and the response from the public was phenomenal.

Thank you all so much for helping us to inspire our community to protect species and habitats. The impact of these efforts cannot be overstated especially as these local efforts affect the status of a migratory species which is vulnerable across its entire range – a seemingly small local conservation program can end up having a large global impact.

Warm Regards,

Nicole and the Team at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Enjoying doing their part for this program
Enjoying doing their part for this program
Swimming to freedom at the Enot Gibbeton Reserve
Swimming to freedom at the Enot Gibbeton Reserve

Links:

A tagged Diving Duck ready for release
A tagged Diving Duck ready for release

Following on this year’s successful release of 32 Diving Ducks into the wild in Israel, our Avian Team at the Zoo is now in the midst of grooming 26 more hatchlings who have reached maturity to be released into the wild:

  • The Israel Nature and Parks Authority has granted formal permission for us to release individuals in the Gibeton Nature Reserve near Rehovot and so 13 ducks will be released there over the coming months. Stay tuned for an update on this release.
  • 13 Diving Ducks will also be released into the Hula Valley Nature Reserve – a swathe of wetlands in the north of Israel that serves as a haven for millions of migrating birds every year. We have received favorable reports of the ducks already released in this area from Israel Nature and Parks Authority rangers and so we are very optimistic about the second release.

The remaining breeding core reside in our Marsh Aviary Exhibit and we are hopeful that they will continue to produce more adorable ducklings so that we can continue to bring these beautiful and important birds back to Israel’s aquatic habitats.

Did you know that our Diving Ducks are tagged using a special method developed in Europe? The tags are attached to the bills rather than to the feet to enable monitoring of individuals from afar because otherwise the ducks’ legs are not visible while swimming in the water. This tagging method does not hurt the duck nor does it interfere with feeding, breathing or any other bodily function.

Thank you all so much for being a part of this project’s success. We hope to bring you more good news in our next report.

Warm Regards,

Nicole and the Team at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo

Tagging the ducks using a special protocol
Tagging the ducks using a special protocol
The Enot Gibeton Nature Reserve
The Enot Gibeton Nature Reserve
These ducklings are now all grown up!
These ducklings are now all grown up!

Links:

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Project Leader:
Nicole Wexler
Jerusalem, Israel
$685 raised of $5,000 goal
 
16 donations
$4,315 to go
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