Bernier's teal

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Bernier's teal
Bernierente 050501.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Anseriformes
Family: Anatidae
Subfamily: Anatinae
Genus: Anas
Species: A. bernieri
Binomial name
Anas bernieri
(Hartlaub, 1860)
Madagascar Teal.png
Distribution of the Bernier's teal
At Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park, North Carolina

Bernier's teal Anas bernieri (also known as Madagascar teal) is a duck species of the genus Anas. It is endemic to Madagascar, where it is found only along the west coast.

This duck is 40 to 45 cm in length, and is predominately warm brown all over with conspicuous black scalloping, heaviest on flanks and breast. It has a black speculum, and its bill is pinkish gray and slightly upturned. It is somewhat difficult to distinguish between male and female ducks since they look very similar to each other.

It prefers mangroves and rarely leaves this habitat where it favors open shallow ponds and lakes, preferably brackish. They tend to eat invertebrates, plant materials, and insects. They nest in tree cavities, mainly mangrove. Its range encompasses the whole of the west coast and the extreme north-east. It is known to breed at two sites, Masoarivo on the central west coast, and Ankazomborona on the far north-west coast. It has an incubation period of 28–30 days and lays 4-10 eggs at a time.

The binomial commemorates the French surgeon Chevalier J A Bernier.

Conservation status[edit]

The Madagascar teal is on the verge of extinction. There are only about 1500 left in the world. The reason these ducks are on the verge of extinction is because their natural habitat, mangrove forests, are being destroyed for timber and fuel.

The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is undergoing a successful breeding program since 1995 after a failed attempt in 1993 due to capturing four ducks which turned out to be all male.

On May 20, 2009, a rare teal duck egg that was discovered unattended by the duck's mother was hatched in incubation at the Louisville Zoo, in Louisville, Kentucky—the first to be hatched there.

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