Brazilian Merganser

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BRAZILIAN MERGANSER (Mergus octosetaceus)

Class: bird
Order: Anserinae
Family: Anatidae
Scientific name: Mergus Octosetaceus

The Brazilian merganser is one of the rarest and most endangered species in the neo-tropical region. After the extinction of Mergus australis from New Zealand, the Brazilian merganser is the only representative of this genre in the duck group in the south hemisphere.

Its classification as “critically endangered” by Birdlife International is fair because according to some researches there are only 200 individuals of this species, and all of them live in Brazil.

Occurring Areas
There are two main occurring areas of the Brazilian merganser in Brazil: Serra da Canastra, in Minas Gerais, Sono River, in Tocantins, and it was also seen in Couros River and Lajeado Stream, in Campo Alegre RPPN, in Chapada dos Veadeiros.

The Brazilian merganser lives in clean and flowing rivers, streams and watercourses near conserved forests and riverbank vegetation. It dives the rapids and is one of the Brazilian species adapted to mountainous rivers.

The animal reaches 50cm length. It has a thin beak but it is not flat as the beak of other animals from the same species. It eats mainly fish and dives to catch food. That is why it received this name – Brazilian merganser.

Quality indicator
The Brazilian merganser needs clean water to dive and catch food. The animal is very demanding in relation to its habitat. So the place where it lives indicates the quality of the water. The number of Brazilian mergansers is decreasing because the cities are growing too fast and the pollution is increasing. According to researches, in 10 years this species can be extinct. Recently, only six adult couples were found in the occurring area.