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Endangered species : White-headed duck

Animal

White-headed duck is an endangered species that inhabits Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia. It is a bird of the Anatidae genus Stiff-tailed duck with a body length of 43 to 48 cm. The white-headed duck is a type of waterfowl that is easier to identify than other types of ducks because of its large blue beak and standing black tail feathers. White-headed ducks are threatened with survival as they have lost more than 50% of their habitat around the world today.

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Habitat

White-headed duck habitats are limited to wetlands, lakes and Ashihara in Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Armenia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Hungary, southern Spain, Algeria and Tunisia.

Characteristic

A duck with a blue beak and a white head. White-headed duck inhabits brackish waters and other swamps, freshwater and saltwater lakes, coastal areas, and wetlands with shining reeds. Since they feed on crustaceans, mollusks, tadpoles, and small aquatic organisms, they often nest at the water’s edge. Males have white feathers on their heads and black spots on the top of their heads. The swan maiden of the whole body is dark brown, and the swan maiden in the center of the abdomen is grayish white. The swan maiden on the cheek has a white dark brown streak pattern.

Ecology

It inhabits freshwater lakes and salt lakes where aquatic plants flourish, and eats mainly plants such as insects and crustaceans. The breeding form is oviparous. Males swim with their heads and tails upright and mate with females. It lays 4-9 eggs in April-July.

Endangered species

Due to human habitat destruction, water pollution, bycatch by fisheries, and hunting, populations are declining. It is on the list of endangered species set by the IUCN / International Union for Conservation of Nature. In addition to overfishing, the white-headed duck has lost more than 50% of its habitat around the world, threatening its survival. It used to be said that there were 200,000 birds, but now it has decreased to about 15,000.

Conservation activities

In Iran, a plan to protect the white-headed duck has begun. The Africa-Eurasia Migratory Waterfowl Conservation Agreement also designates wild birds in need of conservation measures, and the Iran Constitution also covers these wild birds. In Spain, a plan to protect the white-headed duck began in the 1970s. By 1988, the population had exceeded 400, and now it has surged to 2,500 in 13 Spanish states. However, poaching is constant, and it seems that the situation cannot be said to be a full-scale revival without fundamental government intervention.

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