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Thursday, October 21, 2021

UT: Mandarin duck removed from list of exotic birds to be kept at aviary

The duck was removed from the list of exotic birds as a team of Central Zoo Authority (CZA) pointed out that although it was spotted in Assam recently after a hiatus of almost 118 years, the mandarin duck has been spotted in India at least 23 times.

Written by Saurabh Parashar | Chandigarh |
October 6, 2021 6:15:10 am
A Mandarin Duck, (File photo)

MANDARIN DUCK, a species which had hit the national headlines in February after being spotted at one of the wetlands in Assam after almost 118 years, was removed from the list of exotic birds meant to be kept in Chandigarh’s first-of-its-kind walk-through aviary of birds at Nagar Van, behind Sukhna Lake. The mandarin duck was earlier set to be one of the 46 exotic bird species to be kept in the large and long enclosures at the aviary.

The duck was removed from the list of exotic birds as a team of Central Zoo Authority (CZA) pointed out that although it was spotted in Assam recently after a hiatus of almost 118 years, the mandarin duck has been spotted in India at least 23 times. In Assam, it was spotted at Maguri-Motapung beel (wetland) in Tinsukia district in February.

The CZA team had visited the under construction walk-through bird aviary on August 27 and by that time, the UT Forest and Wildlife department had procured a pair of mandarin ducks from a supplier in Tamil Nadu.

Narbir Khalon, a birder and member of Chandigarh Wildlife Board said, “Mandarin Duck is a vagrant visitor in India. It has been visiting India rarely in very low numbers despite our country not being its habitat. The vagrant visitor birds land in our country mistakenly or while taking rest enroute to their original habitat locations.”

President Chandigarh Bird Club, Mitinder Sekhon said, “The UT forest department should be very conscious while keeping the exotic birds in the enclosures at Nagar Van, which is close to Sukhna Lake wetland, a hub for the migratory birds every year.” Khalon and Sekhon were the members of consultant committee constituted for the bird aviary. Sekhon later left the committee.

Chief Conservator of Wildlife Debendra Dalai said, “When mandarin duck was included in the list of exotic birds to be kept at aviary, there was no clarity about its status. Now, we will kept 45 species of exotic birds. ” The species including Blue and Yellow macaw, red and green macaw, rainbow lorikeet swainson’s lorikeet, sun parakeet, jandaya parakeet etc are among the 45 exotic bird species.

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