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Rare Mandarin Duck sighted at Maguri beel after 118 years

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Guwahati, Feb 15: A rare Mandarin Duck was recently sighted at Maguri Beel of Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in upper Assam Tinsukia district.

The rare duck was first spotted on February 8 by Madhab Gogoi, a Tinsukia based birder and tour guide. The duck has since become the start of the wetland, which was affected due to Baghjan blowout in May 2020.

Imon Abedin, a Zoology student and bird enthusists said, “This is the first sighting of duck in 118 years in the area. It was last seen in 1902 in Maguri beel. Its a positive news for the nature lovers and bird enthusists. We are happy to to sight the bird at the beel,”.

He said, “For last two days we have not seen the bird in the area because of disturbance after the news everybody is coming to Maguri beel to sight the rare bird”.

Mandarin Duck was considered as the most beautiful duck in the world because of its colour. It 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.

The migratory duck breeds in Russia, Korea, Japan and northeastern parts of China, explained Gogoi. 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.

Tweeting about it, Vivek Menon, WTI CEO said, “Fantastic find by @wti_org_india White-winged duck survey team of Aftab & Mahesh (volunteer from @AsianWildlife). Mandarin Duck sighted after perhaps a hundred years from Maguri beel Dibru Saikhowa. #assam.

Nirantar Gohain, a local environmentalist said, “The rare duck was spotted on February 8, but after that it was not spotted in the area. Every year migratory bird came to Maguri-Motapung beel and stay here for months. The Mandarin duck came here but returned back because of scarcity of food. The Baghjan blowout had an adverse affect in the Maguri beel”.

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