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Rare sight of Mandrain duck in India

  • Category
    Ecology and Environment
  • Published
    24th Feb, 2021

Recently, a rare sight was noticed by people where they witnessed a spectacular and rare Mandarin duck floating in the Maguri-Motapung beel (or wetland) of Assam’s Tinsukia district.

Context

Recently, a rare sight was noticed by people where they witnessed a spectacular and rare Mandarin duck floating in the Maguri-Motapung beel (or wetland) of Assam’s Tinsukia district.

About

What is the 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.
  • It is a “small-exotic looking bird” native to East Asia.
  • The migratory duck breeds in Russia, Korea, Japan and northeastern parts of China.

Why is it ‘rare’ for India?

  • The duck, however, rarely visits India as it does not fall in its usual migratory route.
  • There are only a handful of recorded sightings here. It was recorded in
    • 1902 in Dibru river in the Rongagora area in Tinsukia
    • 2013 in Manipur’s Loktak Lake
    • 2014 in Saatvoini Beel in Manas National Park and Tiger Reserve in Assam’s Baksa district

Maguri Motapung wetland

  • 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 wetland has a grassland adjacent to it.
  • The entire ecosystem (grassland and wetland) 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.
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