600

Baer’s Pochard

Asia

600

Aythya baeri

Endangered

  • Conversion of habitat to agricultural lands
  • Limited food source
  • Presence of predators and hunters
  • Water pollution

Baer’s Pochard is an extremely rare diving duck from the Anatidae family. Its name is a tribute to Karl Ernst von Baer, an Estonian naturalist. Its breeding grounds are in northeast China and southeast Russia. It moves to southern China, India, Japan, and Vietnam during winter season.

This scaup (diving duck) species prefers to build its nests within dense grassy areas and aquatic vegetation in freshwater lakes, flooded meadows, and reservoirs. It has an almost identical set of characteristics with the Ferruginous Duck except for the colour. It feeds in isolation or in small groups with no particular food items in preference as it eats both animal and plant materials including rice, large worms, small frogs, and a variety of insects.

There are many factors that contribute to its serious decline in number. These include water pollution and uncontrolled hunting. Its freshwater habitats are being subjected to aquaculture development while its surrounding areas are transformed into agricultural lands which seriously alter its normal breeding cycle, limit its food resources, and make it vulnerable to being caught and killed by humans and other predators.