Aviculture at WWT over half a century

A Richardson


In the early days of the Severn Wildfowl Trust, birds were 'collected' from wherever they could be found. This was often from the wild and, in common with other zoos, birds were brought in to increase the variety on show and in order to have the 'set'. As staff avicultural skills increased, however, limitations on what could not be kept in the English climate became apparent. Arguably, the avicultural heyday of WWT was in the 1970s, when the emphasis was on maximising breeding, and birds were still imported, often from private breeders and dealers who helped to maintain an interest in the more unusual species. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, in its 51st year, still maintains one of the most substantial collections in the world. However, some species, especially seaducks, are not kept because conditions are not 'right'. WWT now plays to its own strengths aviculturally, and the collection is part of a much wider, more wetland habitat orientated organisation.

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