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White-winged Duck Asarcornis scutulata
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Justification
This forest duck is listed as Endangered because it has a very small and fragmented population which is undergoing a very rapid and continuing decline as a result of the loss of and disturbance to riverine habitats.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Taxonomic note
Asarcornis scutulata (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Cairina.

Synonym(s)
Cairina scutulata (S. Müller, 1842)

Identification
66-81 cm. Large, dark, forest duck with contrasting whitish head and upper neck. Males have mostly dull yellowish bill, blackish mottling on head and upper neck, white lesser and median coverts and inner edges of tertials and bluish-grey secondaries. In flight, white wing-coverts contrast with the rest of the wings. Females are smaller and usually have more densely mottled head and upper neck. Juvenile is duller and browner. Similar spp. Female Comb Duck Sarkidornis melanotos has mostly whitish underparts and all dark wings. Voice Flight call is series of vibrant honks, often ending with nasal whistle. Also single, short, harsh honks. Hints Very secretive, often feeds only at night.

Distribution and population
Cairina scutulata was historically widely distributed from north-eastern India and Bangladesh, through South-East Asia to Java and Sumatra, Indonesia. It has undergone a dramatic decline, such that its population is now estimated at c.1,000 individuals, comprising c.200 in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia, c.150 on Sumatra, Indonesia, c.450 in India (Choudhury 2000) and Bangladesh (A. Choudhury in litt. 2007) and in the "low hundreds" in Myanmar (J. C. Eames in litt. 2007) following the identification of a significant population numbering tens of individuals in the proposed Hukuang Tiger Reserve. It has also recently been recorded in Bhutan (Choudhury 2007). It continues to decline throughout its range, and is probably extinct in Malaysia and on Java. The only recent records from Vietnam are from watercourses in dry dipterocarp forest in Yok Don NP, where it is rare but probably under-recorded (Eames in litt. 2012). It is likely to be extirpated elsewhere due to widespread forest and wetland destruction. There are no confirmed recent records from Laos, however, a few birds probably survive in the Nam Theun catchment (W. Duckworth in litt. 2012). In Myanmar it is locally common on ox-bow lakes within the Chindwin basin (Tordoff et al. 2007). In India, it has been recorded from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Manipur (no recent report), with unconfirmed reports from Tripura and Mizoram. Its current distribution is chiefly in the eastern lowlands of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh (A. Rahmani in litt. 2012).


Population justification
There has not been a comprehensive analysis of recent records, but estimates of c.450 in India (A. Choudhury in litt. 2007), low hundreds in Myanmar and c.100 in Cambodia (J. C. Eames in litt. 2007) combined with an earlier estimate of 150 in Indonesia suggest that the species's population may precautionarily be considered to lie within the band 250-999 mature individuals. This equates to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.

Trend justification
This species's population is suspected to have decreased very rapidly owing to the widespread loss, degradation and disturbance of lowland riverine habitats. Resultant small and fragmented populations are susceptible to hunting - opportunistic collection of eggs and chicks - and other stochastic events.

Ecology
It inhabits stagnant or slow-flowing natural and artificial wetlands, within or adjacent to evergreen, deciduous or swamp forests, on which it depends for roosting and nesting, usually in tree-holes. Although lowlands (below c.200 m) provide optimum habitat, it occurs up to 1,400 m, especially on plateaux supporting sluggish perennial rivers and pools.

Threats
Its decline is largely attributable to the destruction, degradation and disturbance of riverine habitats including loss of riparian forest corridors. The resultant small, fragmented populations are vulnerable to extinction from stochastic environmental events, loss of genetic variability, disturbance, hunting and collection of eggs and chicks for food or pets. Hydro-power development, inappropriate forest management, and pollution are more localised threats. It may be particularly susceptible to loss of large trees with nesting holes (W. Duckworth in litt. 2006).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix I. The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust produced, and implements, an action plan for the species. In 1993, 21 protected areas were known to support populations. Dibru-Saikhowa National Park and Dihing-Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, both in Assam, were established because of its importance for this species.  Sylvan Heights owns a number of captive breeding birds in the US however, few, if any, reintroduction attempts have been made (Kivi 2010, Sylvan Heights Bird Park).  Conservation awareness materials depicting it have been widely distributed in Laos and Cambodia. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys to clarify its distribution and status. Instigate regular monitoring of selected key populations and establish a captive breeding programme for future reintroductions and population supplementations. Promote strict enforcement of hunting regulations and minimise encroachment, disturbance and habitat degradation in all protected areas supporting populations. Campaign for increased protection of peat-swamp forest in Sumatra. Campaign against pesticide and oil pollution at key sites in north-east India. Promote widespread conservation awareness campaigns in and around key protected areas. Rapidly introduce the measures outlined above in newly discovered strongholds, e.g. northern Myanmar.

References
BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Choudhury, A. 2000. The birds of Assam. Gibbon Books and WWF-India, Guwahati, India.

Choudhury, A. 2007. White-winged Duck Cairina (=Asacornis) scutulata and Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus: two new country records for Bhutan. Forktail: 153-155.

Collar, N. J.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2013. Conservation breeding and avian diversity: chances and challenges. International Zoo Yearbook.

Kivi, R. 2010. Species Spotlight: White Winged Duck. web page. Available at: http://www.brighthub.com/environment/science-environmental/articles/15474.aspx. (Accessed: 01/08/2013).

Sylvan Heights Bird Park. White-winged Wood Duck Breeding Program . web page. Available at: http://shwpark.com/white-winged-wood-duck-breeding-program.html. (Accessed: 01/08/2013).

Tordoff, A. W.; Appleton, T.; Eames, J. C.; Eberhardt, K.; Htin Hla; Khin Ma Ma Thwin; Sao Myo Zaw; Sein Myo Aung. 2007. Avifaunal surveys in the lowlands of Kachin State, Myanmar, 2003-2005. Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society 55(2): 235-306.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Taylor, J., Allinson, T

Contributors
Choudhury, A., Duckworth, W., Eames, J.C., Mahood, S., Rahmani, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Asarcornis scutulata. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/12/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/12/2014.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, Swans)
Species name author (S. Müller, 1842)
Population size 250-999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 370,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species