White-winged duck (Cairina scutulata)

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White-winged duck
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White-winged duck fact file

White-winged duck description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderAnseriformes
FamilyAnatidae
GenusCairina (1)

This large, dark, forest duck has white wings when open, with only small patches of white visible when the wings are closed. Most of the body is a dull brown, but the head and upper neck are speckled with white, more densely on females than males. Juveniles are duller and browner than adults (2).

Also known as
white-winged wood duck.
Spanish
Pato Almizclero Aliblanco, Pato de Jungla.
Size
Length: 66 – 81 cm (2)
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White-winged duck biology

Found singly or in pairs, the white-winged duck is active mainly at dusk and dawn, feeding on seeds, vegetation, fish and other animal matter, as well as on aquatic snails, spiders and insects. It undergoes an annual moult in September or October and is flightless for a fortnight, moving into more densely forested swamps for protection from predators.

Breeding occurs during the late dry season, when the female lays up to 16 eggs in a nest constructed in a tree hole, fork or hollow between three and twelve metres above the ground. Incubation lasts 33 days, and hatching is timed with the start of the heavy seasonal rainfall. The chicks disperse after 14 weeks of parental care (4).

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White-winged duck range

Lost from many areas within its former range (4), the white-winged duck now has a patchy distribution across India and Southeast Asia (1).

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White-winged duck habitat

Inhabits slow-flowing streams or rivers and swamps within forested areas. The white-winged duck nests in tree holes during the day and has been seen around paddy fields (4).

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White-winged duck status

The white-winged duck is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1) and is listed on Appendix I of CITES (3).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered

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White-winged duck threats

All populations found outside protected areas are believed to be at risk of extinction within 25 years, due to habitat loss. Wetland drainage for land, hydropower development, fragmentation, and deliberate burning all contribute to this projected loss. However, even populations found within protected areas are not free from risk. They are frequently hunted for their good quality meat and often suffer from disturbance and habitat contamination by pollution and pesticides (4).

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White-winged duck conservation

Whilst the white-winged duck is legally protected from hunting and egg collecting across its range, enforcement of this protection is lacking. Education programmes have been implemented and proposed conservation measures include strengthening control of exploitation, habitat management and control of pollution (4).

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

For further information on the white-winged duck see:

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Authentication

Authenticated by BirdLife International.
http://www.birdlife.org

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References

  1. IUCN Red List (May, 2008)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. Stattersfield, A.J. and Capper, D.R. (1998) Threatened Birds of the World. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
  3. CITES (December, 2004)
    http://www.cites.org
  4. BirdLife International. (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
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White-winged duck  
White-winged duck

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