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BRAZILIAN MERGANSER (Mergus octosetaceus)
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
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
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.
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.