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This species has not been conclusively seen in the wild since 1949; it was always considered rare, and is likely to have declined severely through a combination of hunting and habitat loss. However, further surveys are needed of remote wetlands in northern Myanmar where there has been a possible recent sighting and credible local reports were received in 2006. Any remaining population is likely to be tiny, and for these reasons it is treated as Critically Endangered.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
60 cm. Graceful, long-necked duck. Males have deep pink head and neck, blackish-brown centre of throat, foreneck and most of remaining plumage. Rosy-pinkish bill. In flight, pale brownish-buff secondaries, narrow, whitish leading edge to wing-coverts and pale pink underwing. Females have duller and browner body, pale greyish-pink head and upper neck with brownish wash on crown and hindneck and duller bill. Juvenile has duller brown body than female, with fine, whitish feather fringes. Voice Males utter weak whistle, females a low quack. Hints Search remote, overgrown wetlands in north-east India and northern Myanmar.
Anon. 2003. Pink-headed Duck survey in the Hukaung Valley, Myanmar. Babbler 8: 6-7.
Anon. 2006. Pink-headed Duck eludes latest BirdLife/BANCA survey. The Babbler: BirdLife in Indochina: 28.
BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
Eames, J. C. 2008. Latest survey fails to find Pink-headed Duck. The Babbler: BirdLife in Indochina: 31-32.
Tordoff, A. W.; Appleton, T.; Eames, J. C.; Eberhardt, K.; Htin Hla; Khin Ma Ma Thwin; Sao Myo Zaw; Saw Moses; Sein Myo Aung. 2008. The historical and current status of Pink-headed Duck Rhodonessa caryophyllacea in Myanmar. Bird Conservation International 18(1): 38-52.
Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Bird, J., Butchart, S., Davidson, P., Peet, N., Pilgrim, J., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Tobias, J.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Rhodonessa caryophyllacea. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/03/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/03/2014.
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.
Additional resources for this species
|Current IUCN Red List category||Critically Endangered|
|Family||Anatidae (Ducks, geese and swans)|
|Species name author||(Latham, 1790)|
|Population size||1-49 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||1 km2|
|Links to further information|
|- Additional Information on this species|