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.
- 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.
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