The rare duck, Mandarin duck (Aix galericulata) locally known “Sana Manbi Nganu” belonging to the family of Anatidae, was sighted by a team of ornithologists, researchers and environmentalist on the third day of their 10-day long study on the important bird areas (IBA’s) of Manipur at Toubul area of Loktak lake.

Dr Raju Kasambe of BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society)’s IBA programme and RK Birjit Singh of Center for Conservation of Nature and Cultivation of Science (CCNCS) led researchers’ team has been conducting a study on the IBA’s of Manipur since December 9 .

“There has been no concrete record on the presence of Mandarin duck in Loktak so far as per AO Hume’s (Birds of Manipur, Assam, Sylhet and Cachar, 1888) and JC Higgins’s (Game Birds andAnimals of Manipur (1910-1934) except by Salim Ali from Mayangkhang in Senapati District in 1939”, said RK Birjit of CCNCS., adding that it was brought and reared in Manipur Zoological Garden for public exhibit sometime in 2009 (but it dies on March 1, 2010) .

Even though the species has been categorized as Least Concern globally by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Birdlife International, Mandarin Duck is acknowledged as one of the rarest ducks in India. “Even Dr Kasambe has told us that he had hardly seen the species in other parts of the country”, RK Birjit said, adding, “This is a great moment for all the bird watchers and lovers of Loktak Lake of Manipur” .

The reason behind the sighting of species could be because of sudden increase of open water of the lake, he opined.  Read more..

Courtesy: E-Pao

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