12 February 2021.
Mandarin duck is a colourful duck from eastern Asia. It has been spotted in Assam after 118 years.
- 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.
About the 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.
- The ducks were once widespread in East Asia region.
- However, they were exported on large-scale and their 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.
- 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.