Salvadori’s Teals aka Salvadori’s Ducks (Salvadorina waigiuensis)
The Salvadori’s Teal or Salvadori’s Duck, Salvadorina waigiuensis, is a species of bird native to New Guinea. It is placed in its own monotypic (one single species) genus Salvadorina.
Initially, it was believed to belong to the “perching ducks“, a paraphyletic* assemblage of species which generally fell between dabbling ducks and shelducks.
With the breaking-up of the “perching ducks”, it was rather provisionally placed in the dabbling duck genus Anas. It was then reinstated in its own genus and moved to the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae, which also contains the Torrent Duck and Blue Duck which convergently have evolved adaptations to mountain stream habitat.
All or some of these species may actually be surviving lineages of an ancient Gondwanan radiation of waterfowl (Sraml et al. 1996). (*Paraphyletic = some, but not all, of the descendants from a common ancestor)
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It is a secretive inhabitant of fast-flowing streams and alpine lakes between 500 and 3.700m in the mountains.
It is one of only four waterfowl species that are adapted to life on fast-flowing rivers, and the sole endemic duck species of the island of New Guinea. The IUCN has listed the bird as vulnerable, and the total population may be slowly declining.
The name commemorates the Italian naturalist Tommaso Salvadori.