[order] ANSERIFORMES | [family] Anatidae | [latin] Chenonetta jubata | [authority] Latham, 1801 | [UK] Maned Duck | [FR] Canard a criniere | [DE] Mahnengans | [ES] Pato de Crin | [NL] Manengans
The Australian Wood Duck, Maned Duck or Maned Goose, Chenonetta jubata, is a dabbling duck found throughout much of Australia. It is the only living species in the genus Chenonetta. Traditionally placed in the subfamily Anatinae (dabbling ducks), it might actually belong to the subfamily Tadorninae (shelducks); the Ringed Teal may be its closest living relative. The flightless New Zealand species Chenonetta finschi (Finsch’s Duck) which was formerly believed to constitute a monotypic genus (Euryanas) has been determined to belong to Chenonetta. It became extinct before scientists could properly survey the New Zealand avifauna, but possibly as late as 1870 (based on a report of a flightless goose caught in Opotiki).
The Maned Duck is a medium-sized goose-like duck with long legs, extended neck, short head and is related to the pygmy-geese of tropical Australia. In flight, the Wood Duck has slow wing beats, large white patches on the rear of the upperwing near the body and a white triangle on the upperwing near the body. The male has a black undertail and belly while the female has a white belly and eyestripes. On the water or on land, the Wood Duck is a medium-sized, light-coloured duck with a dark head, a characteristic high-tailed posture on water and erect posture on land.
Australasia : Australia
The Maned Duck is widely distributed and is common throughout Australia. However, it is rare and considered to be a vagrant in tropical Australia. The Wood Duck prefers lightly timbered country near water, be it swamps, dams, rivers or other waterways, where there is short grass or herbage beneath the trees. It is seldom found in dense or extensive swamps and avoids brackish or saline water.
The Australian Wood Duck forms monogamous breeding pairs that stay together year round. It nests in tree holes, above or near water, often re-using the same site. Clutch size is 9?11 cream-white eggs, similar to the eggs of Mandarin ducks. The female incubates the eggs for about 4 weeks, while the male stands guard. Once the ducklings are ready to leave the nest after about 57 days, the female flies to the ground and the duckling will leap to the ground and follow their parents. Like Mandarin drakes, the males also secure their ducklings closely along with the females.
The Maned Duck eats grasses, clover and other herbs, and occasionally, insects. It is rarely seen on open water, preferring to forage by dabbling in shallow water, or in grasslands and crops.
copyright: Peter Nash
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be fluctuating, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
The species has benefited greatly from farming and the creation of dams. Its habitat includes lightly wooded swamps, marshes, open woodland and grassland
Sedentary, probably inhabiting the some body of water throughout life. Might also be somewhat dispersive, it is found everywhere where there is suitable habitat.