Philippine duck (Anas luzonica)

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Philippine duck
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Philippine duck fact file

Philippine duck description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderAnseriformes
FamilyAnatidae
GenusAnas (1)

With its rusty-cinnamon head and bluish-grey bill, the Philippine duck is a rather distinctive bird. The cinnamon coloured head is boldly decorated with a black crown and a black stripe through the eye, while the rest of the plumage is brownish-grey. When in flight, a well-defined patch of glossy green on the wing can be clearly seen (2), which is bordered with black and has a narrow white edge (3), and the underside of the wing is also white (2). Immature Philippine ducks have slightly duller plumage than that of adults, while ducklings are olive-brown with a bright yellow face and neck (2). It calls with a typical duck-like quack (3).

Size
Length: 48 – 58 cm (2)
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Philippine duck biology

This shy and nervous species, which will quickly fly off if approached, may be seen in large flocks outside of the breeding season, but usually occurs in pairs or small groups (2). The breeding season is thought to extend between March and November, with a peak in activity in July and August, although this may vary throughout the range (2). The Philippine duck constructs a nest obscured from view under a thick cover of aquatic vegetation, such as water bindweed. Clutches consist of 8 to 10, sometimes 15 to 16, eggs, which are dull white with a brownish tinge. These are incubated for 25 to 26 days (2).

Most active in the early morning, late afternoon, and during moonlit nights, the Philippine duck forages in shallow water for plants, molluscs and crustaceans (2). Fish and frogs may also be consumed, as well as insects, rice and the shoots of young plants; some farmers have complained of the damage this duck had done to newly sown fields and sprouting crops (4).

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Philippine duck range

Endemic to the Philippines where it has been recorded from all of the major islands and a number of the smaller islands (3).

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Philippine duck habitat

The Philippine duck can be found in both freshwater and saltwater habitats, including small streams in forests, lakes, marshes, swamps, mangroves, tidal creeks, and the open sea (2) (4). It prefers areas with marsh vegetation, which offers vital food and cover, and is found up to elevations of 300 to 400 metres (2).

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Philippine duck status

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable

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Philippine duck threats

Hunting and habitat loss pose the greatest threat to the Philippine duck’s survival, and evidence from the last 20 years suggest that numbers are declining (2). Since the 1960s, high levels of hunting and trapping of this species have been recorded, with thousands allegedly shot each week in certain months in the late 1980s (3), for both food and sport (5). Many wetland habitats of the Philippines have been drained, or converted for aquaculture and shrimp- or fish-ponds (3) (5). Most devastating to this species was the drainage of Candaba Marsh in the 1990s, which was once one of the most important sites for the Philippine duck, but is now too dry to support a large population (5). The recent extensive use of pesticides on rice-fields may also have had serious impacts on the Philippine duck (3).

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Philippine duck conservation

The Philippine duck receives legal protection at five locations, including Lake Naujan National Park on Mindoro and Maria Aurora Memorial Natural Park on Luzon (3). In addition, hunting of all bird species is illegal in the Philippines, with the government banning firearms in 1972, although unfortunately, this law lacks enforcement (3) (5). Education and awareness programmes are required to enable local people to understand the effects of hunting on birds and the relevant laws (5). Further protection of the Philippine’s wetlands is also essential for this species’ survival; for example, the protection and restoration of Candaba Marsh has been recommended (3).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For further information on the conservation of the Philippines’ wetlands see:

For more information on this and other bird species please see:

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Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact: arkive@wildscreen.org.uk
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Glossary

Aquaculture
The cultivation of marine or freshwater food fish or shellfish under controlled conditions.
Crustaceans
Diverse group of arthropods (a phylum of animals with jointed limbs and a hard chitinous exoskeleton) characterised by the possession of two pairs of antennae, one pair of mandibles (parts of the mouthparts used for handling and processing food) and two pairs of maxillae (appendages used in eating, which are located behind the mandibles). Includes crabs, lobsters, shrimps, slaters, woodlice and barnacles.
Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Molluscs
A diverse group of invertebrates, mainly marine, that have one or all of the following; a horny, toothed ribbon in the mouth (the radula), a shell covering the upper surface of the body, and a mantle or mantle cavity with a type of gill. Includes snails, slugs, shellfish, octopuses and squid.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (April, 2008)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Kear, J. (2005) Ducks, Geese and Swans. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  3. BirdLife International (April, 2008)
    http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=439&m=0
  4. BirdLife International. (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
  5. Crosby, M.J. (2003) Saving Asia’s Threatened Birds: A Guide for Government and Civil Society. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
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Image credit

Philippine duck  
Philippine duck

© Kenneth W. Fink / www.ardea.com

Ardea wildlife pets environment
59 Tranquil Vale
London
SE3 0BS
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 208 318 1401
ardea@ardea.co.uk
http://www.ardea.com

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