Mandarin duck

(Aix galericulata)




Facts about this animal

The mandarin is a small perching duck of approximately 45 cm head-body length and 440-550 g body-weight.

The female lays 9 to 12 creamy-white eggs in a tree cavity typically near or overhanging water, and incubates them alone for 28-30 days.

Feral mandarin ducks are found in many countries, but the invasive potential of the species is low and negative impacts have not been recorded, although the ducks may compete with other species for tree-hole nest sites.

Did you know?
that Japanese and Chinese cultures hold the mandarin in high regards? In these countries, they serve as a symbol of happiness and fidelity.


Class AVES
Suborder ANSERES
Name (Scientific) Aix galericulata
Name (English) Mandarin duck
Name (French) Canard mandarin
Name (German) Mandarinente
Name (Spanish) Pato mandarin
Local names Dutch: Mandarijneend
Italian: Anatra mandarina
Romansh: Anda mandarina
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Appendix II (as Anatidae spp.)



Photo Copyright by
Valerie Abbott



Range China, Japan, Korea PDR, Korea Dem., Mongolia, Russian Fed., Taiwan. Vagrants may be found in Hong Kong, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Viet Nam. There are introduced populations in Austria, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
Habitat Freshwaters with a dense marginal growth of woodland and shrubs, reeds or sedges. Dependent of holes in deciduous trees for nesting.
Wild population The global population is estimated to be 65,000-66,000 individuals by Wetlands International (2002).
Zoo population 2035 reported to ISIS (2006)

In the Zoo

Mandarin duck


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 18 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Valerie Abbott

Why do zoos keep this animal

Keeping Mandarin ducks as ornamental fowl has a long tradition. Zoos keep them for educational purposes because they display interesting behaviours, and as an ambassador species for wetland conservation.