Mandarin Duck Floating in the Maguri-Motapung beel


  • Floating in the Maguri-Motapung beel (or wetland) in Assam’s Tinsukia district for over a week is the spectacular and rare Mandarin duck.

  • The bird was also spotted by a team from the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), which was present in the area for a survey of the White-winged wood duck, an extremely rare and endangered duck species found primarily in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

About Mandarin Duck

  • 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.

    Mandarin duck
    Source: Financial Express
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • IUCN status: Least Concerned

Back to Basics

Maguri Motapung wetland

  • An Important Bird Area as declared by the Bombay Natural History Society.
  • 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.

Source: Indian Express

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