Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Species in news: Mandarin Duck

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Mandarin Duck, Dibru Saikhowa NP

Mains level : Not Much

A rare Mandarin duck was observed floating in the Maguri-Motapung beel (or wetland) in Assam’s Tinsukia district for over a week is spectacular.

Mandarin duck

IUCN status: Least Concerned

  • Considered the most beautiful duck in the world, the Mandarin duck, or the (Aix galericulata) was first identified by Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist Carl Linnaeus in 1758.
  • The eBird website, a platform that documents birds world over, describes it as a “small-exotic looking bird” native to East Asia.
  • It’s very beautiful, with majestic colours and can be spotted from a distance.

Its habitat and breeding

  • The migratory duck breeds in Russia, Korea, Japan and northeastern parts of China. It now has established populations in Western Europe and America too.
  • In 2018, when a Mandarin duck was spotted in a pond in New York City’s Central Park, it created a flutter among local residents.
  • It was recorded in 1902 in Dibru River in the Rongagora area in Tinsukia.

About Maguri beel

  • The Maguri Motapung wetland is an Important Bird Area as declared by the Bombay Natural History Society.
  • It is located close to the Dibru Saikhowa National Park in Upper Assam.
  • The entire ecosystem is very important as it is home to at least 304 bird species, including a number of endemic ones like Black-breasted parrotbill and Marsh babbler.
  • In May 2020, the beel was adversely affected by a blowout and fire at an Oil India Limited-owned gas well.
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