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Locals excited over rare knob-billed duck caught in Kamala

PHUKET: A local fisherman who caught an odd duck on Kamala Beach on Monday night (Oct 24) has handed the bird over to conservation officials to take better care of.

animals, environment, natural-resources,


Eakkapop Thongtub

Wednesday 26 October 2016, 05:18PM


Suchon Kongngam, an official at the Khao Phra Thaew Wildlife Conservation Centre in Thalang, collected the duck from the home of Samran Inkaew after Mr Samran called the centre to report his discovery.

The rare duck has since been confirmed as a Sarkidiornis melanotos, or better known as a knob-billed duck or just a “comb duck”, as the animal features a comb similar to that of a goose.

“While I was fishing, I saw the duck caught in fishnets near rocks. I have never see a duck like this before, so I brought it home,” he said.

Mr Samran explained that he wanted officials to take care of the bird so that youngsters would have the opportunity to see the specimen.

“We rarely spot this species in Thailand,” conservation officer Mr Suchon explained to The Phuket News.

“Our records show that we found 10 of these ducks at a non-hunting preservation area near an airport reservoir in Buri Ram in 1986. Then in 1988, we found only one at Borraphet swamp in Nakhon Sawan,” he added.

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“Environmental changes, agricultural development and deforestation have all contributed to the loss of food sources and habitats for wildlife in our country,” Mr Suchon noted.

“People hunting these ducks for food also decreases the number of these ducks in Thailand. They no longer lay eggs in Thailand, and now we find only a few of them coming here searching for food.

“They are a protected animal under the Act for the Conservation and Protection of Wildlife B.E. 2535, 1992,” Mr Suchon confirmed.

The IUCN Red List lists the conservation status of the knob-billed duck as of “Least Concern”. (See story here.)

However, the duck is also listed in Appendix II under the international treaty CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), which Thailand is a signatory to, making it illegal to poach or kill the bird for trade within the Kingdom. (See here.)

 

 

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