Wilbur is in danger 😟 but you can help! 😊

You won’t find Wilbur in your neighborhood pond…

Nor may he be found in any wild place of the Western Hemisphere, or in Africa or Europe…

But that’s okay because his kind has never existed in these places. What’s not okay is what’s happening to this breathtaking species in Asia.

Wilbur is a White-Winged Duck, aka Asarcornis scutulata, and there was a time when this species could be found everywhere from Northeast India and Bangladesh all the way through Southeast Asia to Java and Sumatra…

But here the story gets very sad, because Wilbur’s species is now extinct in Java. And back in 2002 —are you ready to weep?—only 800 White Winged Ducks could be counted throughout their native haunts:

😟200 in Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia…

😟150 in Sumatra…

😟And just 450 in all of India, Bangladesh and Burma.

I first met Wilbur at the magnificent McNeil Avian Center in Philadelphia, where he’s well cared for in a swamp-like home, with his mate Wilhelmina. I don’t remember if they’ve provided a hollow tree where the ducks can nest—but I expect so, because destruction of hollow trees is destroying this species in Asia.

The good news is that Wilbur’s striking good looks and sheer size make him an unforgettable friend to everyone who tours the McNeil Avian Center, where visitors may also learn about his species’ predicament.

White Wings are, I read, the second largest species of duck in the world, and it’s impossible to meet Wilbur and not be awestruck.

Plus. the wonderful Wildlife Conservation Society, based at the Bronx Zoo, has confirmed that reintroduction and nest-protection programs in Cambodia may be making progress in reversing the decline of the species in this critical area.

Beyond this, the outlook for Wilbur’s species is grim, unless it gets massive help. And this is where YOU come in, dear devoted subscriber.

You can support organizations such as Endangered Species International and BirdLife International if you want to help White-Winged Ducks and so many other endangered birds from disappearing off the face of the earth. Please consider this.

Also, if you want to order any prints, wall-hangings,coffee mugs, smartphone cases or other keepsakes bearing my original photograph of Wilber the White-Winged Duck, I pledge to donate my entire proceeds to BirdLife International, so that you may enjoy Wilbur’s beauty and support the preservation of endangered birds all at once.

Please consider it. Wilbur and I both thank you so much!

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