Our Beautiful World

White-winged Duck, Cairina scutulata  
aka White-winged Wood-duck

Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Center, USA
Photo: © Jan Harteman

Red List Category & Criteria: EN A2cd+3cd; C2a(i) ver 3.1 (2001)
Year Assessed: 2006, Assessor/s: BirdLife International
Evaluator/s: Butchart, S. & Pilgrim, J. (BirdLife International Red List Authority)
Justification: This forest duck is listed as Endangered because it has a very small and fragmented population which is undergoing a very rapid and continuing decline as a result of deforestation, wetland drainage and hunting.
History: 1988 - Threatened (Collar and Andrew 1988)
1994 - Endangered (Collar, Crosby and Stattersfield 1994)
2000 - Endangered (BirdLife International 2000)
2004 - Endangered (BirdLife International 2004)
BirdLife International 2006. Cairina scutulata. In: IUCN 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 15 April 2008..

Photo by Else2, http://commons.wikimedia.org
In 1997 it was estimated that there were only 450 birds left in the wild and spread between Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia (Sumatra), India and Myanmar.
It is thought to now be extinct in Malaysia and Java.

It inhabits pools and marshes in dense, swampy forest
where it depends on trees for roosting and nesting.
The White-winged Duck is very secretive and feeds mainly at night
on seeds, grain, rice, snails and fish.
It has suffered from loss of habitat and hunting pressure.

Text © Arthur Grosset

Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Center, USA
Photo: © Jan Harteman
The White-winged Wood Duck, Cairina scutulata is a species of duck,
usually placed in the genus Cairina and allied with the dabbling ducks.

However, mtDNA cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 sequence analysis
(Johnson & Sorenson, 1999) and the biogeographical pattern of distribution indicate that the anatomical
similarity to the Muscovy Duck is deceiving. Thus, this species might more appropriately
be placed in a monotypic genus, as Asarcornis scutulata, which appears to be unrelated
to the Muscovy Duck but closer to the diving ducks.
(Here we go again.....)
Text: http://en.wikipedia.org

Photo: © Jan Harteman

Identification 66-81 cm. Large, dark, forest duck with contrasting whitish head and upper neck.
Males have mostly dull yellowish bill, blackish mottling on head and upper neck,
white lesser and median coverts and inner edges of tertials and bluish-grey secondaries.
In flight, white wing-coverts contrast with the rest of the wings. Females are smaller and
usually have more densely mottled head and upper neck. Juvenile is duller and browner.

1) Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests. 2) Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests,
3) Littoral and Swamp Forests. 4) Tidal Swamp Forest. 5) Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests

Ecology It inhabits stagnant or slow-flowing natural and artificial wetlands,
within or adjacent to evergreen, moist, deciduous or swamp forests,
on which it depends for roosting and nesting, usually in tree-holes.

Although lowlands (below c.200 m) provide optimum habitat, it occurs up to 1,400 m,
especially on plateaux supporting sluggish perennial rivers and pools.
Although essentially sedentary, some birds make short dry-season movements
in response to low water-levels.


WWT Barnes, London, England, January 2002, Captive Bird
© Arthur Grosset

Photo © Surajit Jamonmarn


over 250


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