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< >  Anas melleri - Meller's duck (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

Meller duck
Madagaskarente (German)
Canard de Meller (French)
Sarcelle de Madagascar (French)
Anade Malgache (Spanish)
Pato de Meller (Spanish)
Angaka (local)
Akaka (local)

Names for newly-hatched

Duckling, downy.

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

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References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B1, B3, B5, B8, B19, B25, B26.

Aviculture references:
J51.13.w1
B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B97, B128.w1
D1, D8

Other References

B44.9.w1
W2
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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

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Aviculture Information

Notes

General Information:
  • Dabbling Ducks are generally hardy, easy to maintain and easy to breed. Shelter may be required by some of the smaller species in winter. They should be provided with cover (including marginal pond cover) and loafing areas as well as water. A pen which is 50% water is suggested. The water may be shallow (i.e. no more than two feet deep is required), and muddy areas for dabbling in are also appreciated. These ducks are generally good in mixed collections, although the smaller and quieter species may be bullied. Territorial disputes between ducks of the same species may be avoided by keeping only one pair of each species in an enclosure, unless the area is very large. For a single pair of ducks a pen are of 50 to 100 square metres, depending on the size of duck, should be provided.
  • A diet based on wheat and pellets is suggested, with maintenance pellets changed to breeders pellets for the breeding season. Bread and greenfood are also appreciated. Grit should always be available, with soluble grit (e.g. oystershell grit) as a calcium source when breeding.
  • Most species are ground nesters and both close ground cover and ground level nest boxes should be provided. Hand-rearing is generally preferred, as these ducks are generally poor parents in captive conditions, particularly in enclosures shared with other waterfowl. These ducks are prone to hybridization, particularly with closely related species, which should be kept apart from one another.

(B7, B29, B30, B40, B94, B128.w1, D1)

Species-specific information:

  • Meller's ducks are hardy, somewhat aggressive and not difficult to keep; the enclosure should include water, loafing areas and ground cover.
  • These ducks are fairly easily bred in captivity. Good close ground cover and ground-level nest boxes should be provided, and seclusion. Ducklings may be broody-incubated and reared; they are not difficult to rear, using chick crumbs, chopped hard-boiled egg, lettuce, plus mealworms and crickets to stimulate feeding.
  • Drakes frequently hybridise; they should be kept separate from closely-related mallard-type ducks.

(J51.13.w1, B29, B97).

Aviornis UK Ringing Scheme recommended average closed ring size: K 10.0mm (D8).

Management Techniques

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length 25-27 inches, 63-68cm (B3, B1).
Adult weight General --
Male Mean 2.2 lbs. (B8).
Female Mean 2.0 lbs. (B8).
Newly-hatched weight --
Growth rate --

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Head

Adult Bill Male Grey-olive with a black nail, sometimes blackish at base. Fairly long.
Variations (If present) --
Eyes (Iris) Male Brown.
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Grey-olive with a black nail, sometimes blackish at base. Fairly long.
Eyes (Iris) Brown.

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Legs

Adult Male Orange-brown.
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Orange-brown.

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Plumage

Adult Male Head and neck brown with darker streaking, upperparts and underparts brown, with fine pale edges to feathers.

Wing dark brown, greater coverts black subterminal band and buff tips, iridescent green secondaries with black border, narrow white tips. Speculum green with black and fine white/buff borders.

Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Warmer reddish-brown colouring.

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

General: Upperparts dark brown with yellow markings, underparts yellow/pale chestnut. Face has dark eyeline.
Bill: Grey.
Feet: Grey.

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year Extended breeding season; nests recorded September-April.
No. of Clutches --

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Nest placement and structure

On banks among vegetation, a bulky structure of grass, down-lined.

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average --
Range 5-10 (B1); 5-13 (B8).
Egg Description White. Size: 59 x 43mm, weight: 45g (B5)

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Incubation

28-29 days (B1); 26-28 days (B8).

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Hatching

Synchronous.

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Fledging

About 9 weeks (B1). 77-84 days (B8).

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Sexual Maturity

Males Presumed Anas standard: one year old.
Females Presumed Anas standard: one year old.

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Dabbling in streams, ponds and flooded rice fields.
Newly-hatched --

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building By female only. Nests solitary or in loose groups.
Incubation By female only.
Newly-hatched Tended by female only, but male may remain close by.
Juveniles

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Aggressive and territorial, but small loose groups also seen and (previously) larger flocks of amore than 200 birds.
Inter-specific Sometimes found feeding with other duck species.

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Sexual Behaviour

Long term pair bonds.

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Predation in Wild

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Activity Patterns

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Circadian Feed by day and night.

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Natural Diet

Adults

Seeds, green parts of aquatic plants, invertebrates (especially molluscs), rice.

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Newly-hatched

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal

Madagascar – east and High Plateau.

Basically sedentary.

Occasional and Accidental

Occasionally seen elsewhere in Madagascar.

Introduced

Mauritius.

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Habitat

Swampy forest country, on inland freshwater pools, lakes and marshes, also rivers, streams, rice fields.

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Very low numbers (B1). Endangered (B44.9.w1)..

CITES listing --
Red-data book listing Lower risk / near-threatened (W2).
Threats Loss of habitat, hunting (B44.9.w1)

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Captive Populations

Present in a few collections (B8).

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Trade

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