White-winged Wood Duck

White-winged Wood Duck

The White-winged Wood Duck, Cairina scutulata is a species of duck, usually placed in the genus Cairina and allied with the dabbling ducks. It is the State Bird of Assam state in India.

However, mtDNA cytochrome b and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2 sequence analysis (Johnson and Sorenson, 1999) and the biogeographical pattern of distribution indicate that the anatomical similarity to the Muscovy Duck is deceiving.

White-winged Wood Duck Resting On The Ground
White-winged Wood Duck Resting On The Ground

Thus, this species might more appropriately be placed in a monotypic genus, as Asarcornis scutulata, which appears to be unrelated to the Muscovy Duck but closer to the diving ducks.

Historically, the White-winged Wood Ducks was widely distributed from north-east India and Bangladesh, through Southeast Asia to Java and Sumatra.

However, in 2002 it had a population of only 800, with about 200 in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia, 150 in Sumatra, notably in Way Kambas National Park and 450 in India, Bangladesh, and Burma.

A Female White-winged Wood Duck Standing On A Log
A Female White-winged Wood Ducks Standing On A Log


Due to ongoing habitat loss, small population size, and because this duck is hunted for eggs, pets, and food, the White-winged Duck is evaluated as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is listed in Appendix I of CITES.

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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