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White-backed Duck

White-backed Duck
Scientific Classification
Genus: Thalassornis
Binomial name
Thalassornis leuconotus
The White-backed Duck (Thalassornis leuconotus) belongs to the Whistling Ducks (Dendrocygninae). These are waterbirds of the duck family Anatidae. It is characteristic for these birds that they are well adapted for diving. On occasions they have been observed to stay under water for up to half a minute. They search especially for the bulbs of waterlilies.

White-backed Ducks live in southern Africa, especially between Senegal and Chad in the west and Ethiopia and South Africa in the east. Their habitat consists of lakes, ponds, swamps and marshes where they are well camouflaged against predators.

There are two subspecies Thalassornis leuconotus leuconotus and Thalassornis leuconotus insularis. The latter of the two lives entirely on Madagascar and is considered to be endangered by hunting, habitat loss and the introduction of neozoa.