Eighteen Madagascan pochards - the world's most endangered duck - have hatched in a captive breeding centre.
This brings the world population of the ducks to just 60.
The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the groups leading the captive breeding programme, say this "builds hope that the bird can be saved from extinction".
The precious pochards are being reared at a specially built centre in Antsohihy, Madagascar.
The ducks were thought to have become extinct in the late 1990s, but were rediscovered in 2006, when conservationists on an expedition spotted just 22 birds at a single site - Lake Matsaborimena (or Red Lake), in northern Madagascar.
Durrell and the WWT launched an emergency mission to rescue the critically endangered birds in 2009.
The aim was to collect eggs in order to start a captive breeding programme that would safeguard the species.
Two weeks after selling $1.8 billion in new stock to replenish its depleted capital, Japan’s only unprofitable automaker said last month it will sponsor the All-Star baseball game in July. Mazda is the only Japanese carmaker to own control of a team in the league and also has a professional soccer club, a hospital and more than $5 billion in land.
The diversity of Mazda’s assets illustrates why scrutiny may intensify on President Takashi Yamanouchi’s plans to revive a company that’s forecasting its biggest annual loss in 11 years. Hiroshima-based Mazda, the nation’s most export-reliant carmaker, has struggled under Yamanouchi after he defied the appreciating yen by keeping production in Japan and as Mazda’s 30-year partnership with Ford Motor Co. (F) crumbled.
“This comes at the worst time,” said Kazuyuki Terao, chief investment officer at Allianz unit RCM Japan. “People might think if they don’t cut spending on baseball, they may also not worry about other expenses.”