THE PHILIPPINE DUCK
THE PHILIPPINE DUCK
The Philippine duck (Anas luzonica) is the country’s only endemic duck. It is classified as “vulnerable” under the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Standing almost two feet high, the Philippine duck is a large dabbling or surface-feeding bird. Its food consists mainly of shrimp, fish, insects and some forms of vegetation in fresh- and saltwater habitats such as mangroves, rice fields and the open sea. It is typically a shy species that flies off quickly when approached.
Its crown, nape and eye stripe are black or dark brown; its bill is blue-grey; its head and neck are cinnamon in color; and its body and legs are grayish-brown. Its spread wings show a glossy-green patch bordered with black and white on topside, and a white underside. Owing to its features, it has been dubbed as the “tropical version of the mallard,” which is found in more temperate countries of America and Europe,
The breeding season of the Philippine duck is usually between March and November. A clutch may consist of as few as eight to as much as 16 eggs that are dull white with a brownish tinge. Its population, reported in the 2005 Asian Waterbird Census at 4,428, is on a continuing decline, hence its classification as a vulnerable species.
The decline in its population is attributed to hunting and trapping, destruction of its habitat due to conversion of natural wetlands and mangroves, and pollution from extensive use of pesticides in rice fields. Fortunately, the Philippine duck breeds well in captivity.
The Philippine duck, as with other wildlife, is protected by Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. RA 9147 promotes ecological balance and enhances biodiversity by conserving and protecting wildlife species and their habitats.
To date, two areas have been declared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) as critical habitats of this bird: a 27-hectare wetland area in Cabusao, Camarines Sur, and the 178-hectare Malasi Tree Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Cabagan, Isabela.
However, the duck has also been reportedly sighted in other areas such as Caylabne Bay in Cavite; Mt. Iglit Baco and Naujan Lake in Mindoro Island; Maria Aurora Memorial Natural Park in Aurora; Bataan Natural Park; Subic Bay Forest Reserves; Olango Island in Cebu; and Candaba Marsh in Pampanga.
For more info on Philippine wildlife, click: http://pawb.gov.ph/
For more info on Philippine duck, click: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/speciesfactsheet.php?id=439