- Considered the world’s most colorful waterfowl, the Mandarin duck (Aix galericulata) is a migratory avian species native to east Asia, primarily China but has established populations throughout Western Europe.
- The Mandarin duck breeds in eastern Siberia, China, and Japan and winters in southern China and Japan.
- The mandarin ducks breed in densely wooded areas near shallow lakes, marshes or ponds.
- Protection status: IUCN Red List- Least Concern
Why in news?
- A campaign to give up airguns and other firearms used for hunting has made a ‘Chinese’ visitor return to Arunachal Pradesh after a year.
- The bird was sighted on the man-made Siikhe Lake in the Lower Subansiri district’s Ziro Valley.
- This was the second appearance of the species in the Ziro Valley. The bird was sighted for the first time in the state on February 20 last year.
- Launched more than a year ago, the abhiyan has led to people in the State giving up more than 2,000 airguns and other firearms.
News in detail
- The Mandarin duck had visited eastern Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in 2021 after a gap of 108 years. The bird was sighted on Manipur’s Loktak Lake in 2013 and in western Assam’s Manas National Park in 2014.
- The ducks came last year in Ziro, Dirang [western Arunachal Pradesh] and Maguri-Motapung wetland in Assam.
- The arrival of the Mandarin duck for two consecutive years indicates that Siikhe Lake has perhaps become a regular winter migration site for the species.
- This is a welcome development for the State that enacted the ‘Pakke [site of a tiger reserve] declaration’ aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change and also preserving the endangered species of flora and fauna in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Deemed as one of Arunachal Pradesh’s most beautiful high-altitude valleys, Ziro is known for an array of rare moth and butterfly species such as the Kaiser-i-Hind, Apatani glory, Bhutan glory, Brown gorgon and Paris peacock.