Cotton pygmy goose (Nettapus coromandelianus) is the smallest duck that occurs in the Philippines. They are known to jump into the air from the water before taking ﬂight. The species was last recorded in Candaba Marsh in February 1979 by Edward Dickinson and the species has not been seen again until a group of birdwatchers rediscovered this species in Apalit, Pampanga on 21 February 2021, 42 years from its last sightings.
Biogeography: India to Eastern China; Taiwan; Southeast Asia through New Guinea to Northern Australia including Sumatra, Javi, Sulawesi, Borneo, and the Philippines.
Habitat: Freshwater lakes and marshes.
Diet: Small ﬁshes, molluscs, crustaceans,insects, and aquatic plants.
Males have a blackish-brown head; dark grey bill; red eye; black-glossed-green collar at the base of neck; the rest of the head and neck, breast, mantle, and belly are white; the back, wing coverts and scapulars are dark brown with green and purple gloss; the legs are dark grey.
Females have a brown crown, back, tail, and wings; have a brown stripe through the brown-colored eye; the upper mandible of the bill is brownish-grey and the lower mandible is brownish-yellow; the throat, breast to undertail coverts are dirty white; the legs are brownish grey.
Why do we need to protect them?
Migratory birds such as Cotton pygmy goose are part of the richness of Philippine biodiversity. These birds are a part of our ecosystem and like other waterbirds, they maintain the diversity of other organisms, control pests, and may serve as bioindicators of wetland health.
Kennedy, R., Gonzales, P. C., Dickinson, E., Hector C. Miranda, J., & Fisher, T. H. (2000).