Guwahati: Two white-winged wood ducks, one of the most endangered birds species globally, have been brought to Assam state zoo in Guwahati from the Czech Republic.

Divisional Forest Officer, Assam State Zoo Dr. Aswani Kumar said that the birds arrived from Prague, via Doha, on Sunday and now have been kept in the mandatory 45-day quarantine period.

“After the quarantine period, the two white-winged wood ducks would be kept in the specially made cage for public view,” Kumar said.

He said that the Assam State Zoo would remain grateful for the efforts of Marketa Hersica and Roman Hersky from Zoo Zlin of the Czech Republic for providing the beautiful pair of the species and working against all odds even during the Covid pandemic to ensure their safe transportation.

The white-winged wood duck, one of the most endangered birds (duck) species was once distributed across the South East Asian countries and northeast India, he added.

“Now only 800 to 1,000 survive globally of which about 450 are believed to be in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. In Assam, the birds are found in key protected areas like Nameri National Park, Dibru Saikhowa National Park and the recently upgraded Dihing Patkai National Park,” Kumar said.

He added that a small population of these birds are also believed to be present in Namndapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh.

He said that due to its distinctive calls at night, it is locally known as the Deo-hah’ (the divine duck).

In view of the habitat loss of the birds and small surviving population, it is registered as endangered species on the IUCN red list of threatened species and Appendix T in CITES.

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