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Where in the World is the Pink-headed Duck?

By Claire Kaufman, Environmental and Sustainability Program Manager

On October 23, 2017, a group of explorers descended into the wetlands around Indawgyi Lake in northern Myanmar to search for a rare duck with a deep pink head and neck, not seen since 1949. This is the first expedition of the Search for Lost Species, led by our partner, Global Wildlife Conservation. Over the next year, explorers will search through some of the most remote regions of the world for the 25 “most wanted” lost species – before we lose them forever.

The Pink-headed Duck is known from Myanmar from only two specimens, but scientists think there is a good chance the mystical duck will briefly visit Indawgyi Lake to breed during the rainy season. These birds lay spherical eggs and likely live in tall, thick elephant grasslands, swamps and floodplains. Although the Pink-Headed Duck was officially last seen in 1949, unconfirmed reports of sightings in 2006 spurred conservationists to continue to look for it. Although they were unsuccessful, scientists have not given up hope.

Photo credit: Alexis Rockman

We need your help to make these expeditions a reality by supporting costs for conservation tools like wildlife camera and live traps, as well as fieldwork for world-renowned scientists. As these explorers valiantly chart unknown territory, we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed that they will rediscover this magical, whimsical bird, and the rest of the 25 lost species! Even if they don’t find all the lost species on the list, they will surely come back from each expedition with important conservation information – and of course an adventure story!

With your help, these explorers can complete the largest-ever global quest to find and protect species unseen in the wild for decades. Click here to donate.

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by Claire Kaufman, October 30, 2017