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Pink-headed Duck watercolor
IUCN Red List threat categories.

Pink-headed Duck

SCIENTIFIC NAME: RHODONESSA CARYOPHYLLACEA
LAST SEEN: 1949 IN INDIA
YEARS LOST: 69
CRITICALLY ENDANGERED
EXPEDITION TEAM MEMBERS INCLUDE: RICHARD THORNS, ERROL FULLER, PILAR BUENO AND JOHN HODGES

 

AT A GLANCE:

The Pink-headed Duck was always considered rare, but it has not been conclusively seen in the wild since 1949 in India and is known from Myanmar from only two individuals. Unconfirmed reports of Pink-headed Duck sightings in 2006 spurred conservationists to continue to look for it and to try to capture the first photos of a live bird, unsuccessfully. In addition to the deep pink head and neck found on male ducks, these birds lay spherical eggs and likely live in tall, thick elephant grasslands, swamps and floodplains.

In 2017, the Pink-headed Duck eluded a Search for Lost Species expedition team in Kachin State in Myanmar. The team’s Interviews with locals suggest that the bird likely spent time at Indawgyi Lake more recently than the last record of the species in Myanmar in 1910, maybe as recently as 2010. GWC is now in the process of considering the team’s findings and will be consulting biologists and other experts to look at option for moving forward in search of the Pink-headed Duck.

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