The State Bird of Assam – White-winged Duck (Asarcornis scutulata) is reported to be on the verge of extinction. It is locally known as deohaanh. According to the IUCN Red List, the White-winged Duck is an Endangered species.
According to the Ministry of Environment website- White-winged Duck or White-winged Wood Duck is the state bird of Assam and is locally known as Deohaanh- divine duck.
A study conducted by the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India in collaboration with Assam University found the main culprit prompting the extinction of white-winged wood ducks is habitat loss as a result of the impact of anthropogenic activities and climate change.
Geographical Range and Habitats of The State Bird of Assam– White-winged Duck on the verge of Extinction, 2023
According to the World Wildlife Fund, the states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Bangladesh, Manipur in India and other countries such as Myanmar are the home of half of the total global population, around 800, of white-winged wood ducks.
The white-winged duck is often found in dense tropical evergreen forests, swamps, and near rivers. In India, the key protected areas for the white-winged duck are the Dihing-Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, Nameri National Park, and Namdapha National Park.
For the protection and conservation of the aforementioned birds, many initiatives have been taken nationally and Internationally. They are as follows:
Protecting these birds in Protect areas such as Dihing-Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, Nameri National Park, and Namdapha National Park has been one of the crucial points while declaring the areas as protected areas.
Considering the ongoing habitat loss, fragmented populations, and a small population size, and because this duck is hunted for food, eggs, and pets, the white-winged duck is given the highest possible protection by the Wildlife Protection Act, IUCN Red List, and CITES:
- Endangered on the of Threatened Species – IUCN Red List.
- It is listed on Appendix I of CITES.
- It is listed under Schedule 1 of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.