The Crested Duck (Tadorna cristata), also known as Korean Tadorne, is a species of aquatic bird in the Anatidae family, this class of duck is seriously threatened and is considered extinct by some. The male has a greenish-black cap, chest, primary feathers, and tail, while the rest of its head, chin, and throat are black with brown.
The belly, underflows, and flanks of male ducks of this type are dark gray with black streaks. The upper wing covers are white and it has an iridescent green mirror. The female has a white eye circle and a black crest, also has a white face, chin, throat, neck, and upper wings, and a dark brown body with white streaks. Both sexes have a distinctive tuft of green feathers that protrudes from the head.
This duck has been seen very rarely, and therefore very little is known about this bird. It breeds in Korea and eastern Russia and is probably a relict species that must have had a greater distribution in prehistory. The crested duck has not been seen with certainty since 1964, and this species is considered by some to be extinct. However, occasional observations have been reported, some of them from inland wetlands in China. Due to persistent reports on the survival of the species, the International Union for Conservation of Nature considers it to be “critically endangered”.
This species is thought by some to be extinct, although occasional sightings have been reported, including a number of recent reports from wetlands in the interior of China. Due to persistent reports on the survival of the species, it is included in the list of critically endangered species.
Characteristics of the crested duck
The crested duck or crested duck is sexually dimorphic, with the male possessing a greenish-black crown, breast, and primary feathers and tail, while the rest of its face, chin, and throat are brownish-black. The male’s belly, lower tail coverts, and flanks are dark gray with black streaks. Its upper wing coverts are white, while its speculum is iridescent green.
Females have a large white eye-ring, black crest, and face, chin, throat, neck, and upper wing coverts, also have a dark brown body with white streaks. Both sexes have a green tuft of feathers protruding from their heads. The crested jar is 25 to 28 inches (63 to 71 centimeters) long, and therefore slightly larger than a mallard. The beak and legs are pinkish, although those of the female are paler than those of the male The beak of the male has a small appendage at the base and the plumage of the immature is unknown
Where does the crested duck live?
The species has been proposed to breed in far eastern Russia, northern North Korea, and northeastern China, and overwinter in southern Japan, southwestern Korea, and along the east coast of China to Shanghai. It is believed to have a relic range, or to have been more widespread in historical times.
This species is believed to live in a wide variety of wetlands and deep-sea habitats at different elevations. Although all the specimens collected come from the coast, especially near river mouths, several reports have recently been received from inland wetlands in northeast China. It has been speculated that this species can breed in mountainous areas, either far from water or in volcanic lakes.
Ecology and behavior
Although not much is known about this jar, it is believed to be migratory, traveling from Siberia in the breeding season to Korea, southern Russia, and Japan during winter, furthermore, the crested jar is believed to eat aquatic vegetation, agricultural crops. , algae, invertebrates, mollusks, crustaceans, carrion, and garbage. It has been suggested that this duck maybe a night feeder.
Although their nest has not been described, similar ducks nest in burrows and cavities; It has also been suggested that this species can nest in arboreal cavities. It has been proposed that this species lays fewer than ten eggs that only the female incubates. It is believed to breed from May to July and the crested duck is also thought to have been observed in flocks of two to eight birds.
Relationship with human beings
This duck was collected in Korea and exported to Japan between 1716 and 1736 for poultry farming, where it was known as the Korean Mandarin Duck, it was captured for poultry farming in Japan until at least 1854 and was depicted in the Kanbun-Kinpu, a work Japanese poultry. Old Chinese tapestries also depict a crested jar-like-looking duck. Kuroda claimed that Japanese hunters were still hunting the species in Korea in the 1920s.
In museums, there are three copies. The only male specimen is kept with a female from the Kuroda collection at the Yamashina Institute of Ornithology in Tokyo. The male was collected at the mouth of the Geum River in 1913 or 1914, and the female was collected near Busan in December 1916. The female specimen described by Philip Lutley Sclater, collected by Lieutenant F. Irmininger, near Vladivostok, in April 1877, was exhibited in 1894 by the Zoological Society of London and is today kept in the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen.
Two additional specimens of crested jars are known to have existed, although both have been lost. The female collected in 1913 along with the only male was given to a friend of the collector and subsequently disappeared. Also, around 1900 a Chinese hunter offered a specimen to a professor at Peking University, but since the professor did not realize how rare the bird was, he rejected it. In 1991, the crested duck appeared on a Mongolian postage stamp.
Crested Duck Conservation
The crested duck has never been numerous in modern times, although it is believed to have historically been more widespread due to its presence in Japanese poultry farming. The species is only known from a handful of sightings, with some retroactively declaring it extinct in 1916 after a female was shot in Busan, South Korea. A group of three birds, two females and a male were spotted by two Russian students in 1964 in the Rimsky-Korsakov archipelago near Vladivostok with a small flock of harlequin ducks.
In 1971 it was reported from the northeast coast of North Korea and in 1985 two were reported from eastern Russia. However, there are serious doubts about the accuracy of the 1971 record. A recent survey of Chinese hunters resulted in a number of unconfirmed reports from northeast China. For example, a Chinese forest worker claimed that he unknowingly ate two in 1984. There are also unconfirmed reports of around twenty crested jars in the Dashanbao region of Yunnan, although many believe that this herd is a misidentified herd of jars. rustic. It is believed that if the species survives, there are likely to be fewer than 50 individuals.
This species is threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, hunting, and over-gathering. In an attempt to collect reports of this species and raise awareness to prevent hunters from consuming it, 300,000 brochures were distributed in Russia, Japan, China, South Korea, and North Korea in 1983, the only resulting report being the Korean record. Northern 1971. 15,000 brochures were distributed in Northeast China in 1985 and 1991. The Tumangan Development Project is threatening to destroy potential habitat in the area from several of the historical records.
Crested Duck Threats
The crested duck has never been very abundant in modern times, although it is believed that it may have historically been more widespread, due to its presence in Japanese poultry farming. The species is only known from a handful of observations and has only been seen since the capture of a female in 1916 in Busan, South Korea. In 1943, this bird was reported from northern Chungcheong, and the species is supposed to have survived.
This species is threatened with extinction due to habitat loss, hunting, and over-capture. In an attempt to collect records on this species and sensitize hunters to prevent them from consuming it, 300,000 brochures were distributed in Russia, Japan, China, South Korea, and North Korea in 1983, the only result of which was the report of the record of 1971 in North Korea. In 1985 and 1991, 15,000 brochures were distributed in North China. Although this initiative resulted in the collection of another eighty-two reports of the species, follow-up studies in the region did not lead to any observations of the bird.
In several of the historically reported areas, potential habitat for the Korean Tadorne is threatened with destruction by the Greater Tumen Initiative (GTI), formerly known as the Tumen River Area Development Project (TRADP), which provides for the construction of infrastructure to ensure that ships no longer have to bypass the Korean peninsula.
Crested Duck History
The first known Korean tadorne from modern science was collected in April 1877 near Vladivostok, Russia. However, it was not described until 1890 by the British zoologist Philip Lutley Sclater, who considered the specimen to be a possible hybrid between the cinnamon jar (Tadorna ferruginea) and the cutlass teal (Anas falcata). Around 1913, a pair was collected in Korea, and the male was presented to the Japanese ornithologist Nagamichi Kuroda. He noted that the plumage of the specimens is not completely intermediate between species, as Sclater suggests. Another female was harvested and delivered to Kuroda in 1916, who concluded that the bird was obviously not a hybrid and described her as the prototype of Pseudotadorna cristata in 1917.
The 1916 female is designated as a holotype and is kept with the male in Kuroda’s collection. In the Anatidae family, this species is considered by Kuroda to be distinct enough to merit its own genus but is now included in the genus Tadorna, which includes six other Old World species of tadorna. The name of the genus comes from the Celtic word tadorne and means “motley waterfowl”. The specific epithet, cristata, comes directly from the Latin word for bird egrets.
Crested Duck Curiosities
The crested duck way of life is practically unexplored. The structure of the beak indicates that it is unlikely that the birds ingested food of animal origin in the water (there is no filtering mechanism), and most likely that their main food was herbaceous plants. It is likely that the bird nests in the hollows of the trees, although he did not rule out the possibility of nesting in coastal cliffs. Other species of ducks of this type are incubated by only one female, and the number of eggs in the clutch does not exceed ten. In all known cases, the crested duck has been seen in pairs or small groups.
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