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Mandarin Duck

Aix galericulata

The Mandarin Duck is a perching duck related to the North American Wood Duck. The native breeding range for these birds is Japan and northeastern Asia (northwest of Japan). Migrating populations overwinter in low-lying regions of eastern China and southern Japan. The native Asian population is threatened because of deforestation and habitat loss. Russia and China are thought to each have fewer than 1000 pairs of these ducks remaining on their native range, while Japan is believed to host about 5000 pairs. Once this bird was widespread in Asia, but now transplanted feral populations in Europe and elsewhere may outnumber that of its native home range.

In its native range, these birds are revered where they are found. In these oriental cultures, the birds are believed to mate for life and so symbolize fidelity and conjugal affection.

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