Mandarin Duck spotted after 118 years in Assam

The Mandarin duck which is a colourful duck from eastern Asia was spotted in Assam recently after 118 years.

More in news

  • Spotting of the Mandarin has raised hopes for the wetland which was affected by a blowout and inferno at a natural gas well in the year 2020.
  • The Mandarin duck was spotted by the team of avian specialists in the Maguri-Motapung Beel of Tinsukia district in eastern Assam.
  • Mandarin duck is the habitat of eastern China and southern Japan. It landed in Assam too by accident.
  • The duck does not come regularly to India. But some of the ducks may join other migratory birds and follow their migration path.
  • The spotted duck accompanied a flock of Indian spot-billed duck that was migrated either to China or Japan.
  • The last Mandarin duck was spotted in Assam in the year 1902.

Mandarin duck

The scientific name of mandarin duck is Aix galericulata. It is a perching duck species which is native to the East Palearctic. The duck is medium-sized with 41–49 cm in length and 65–75 cm of wingspan. The duck is closely related to North American wood duck.

Population of the duck

The ducks were once widespread in East Asia region. But they were exported on large-scale so the population reduced in the eastern Russia and China. Further, the destruction of its forest habitat further accelerated the reduction in population so much so that the population reduced below 1,000 pairs in each of Russia and China. Japan has an estimated population of around 5,000 pairs.

Breeding

The duck usually prefers the dense breeding grounds. It usually breeds into the shrubby forested edges of rivers and lakes in low-lying areas. It can also breed in valleys at altitudes of 1,500 m. It also breeds in marshes, flooded fields, and open rivers during winters.  The duck prefers fresh water but are also seen wintering in the coastal lagoons and estuaries.

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