30 Short Communication Kukila 19, 2016
Status of Sunda Teal Anas gibberifrons in South Sumatra
KPB-SOS, Jl. Tanjungapi-api km 9 Komplek P & K, Blok E 1 Palembang 30152, Sumatera
Selatan. Email: email@example.com
Ringkasan: Pada bulan Juli 2013, Itik benjut Anas gibberifrons teramati di sekitar hutan
terbakar dan dilaporkan ditangkap oleh masyarakat lokal di Ogan Komering Ilir,
Sumatera Selatan. Catatan ini diklaim sebagai catatan pertama di Sumatera Selatan.
Akan tetapi sebelum ini, telah terdapat beberapa catatan-catatan dari hasil survei yang
belum dipublikasi mengenai Itik benjut di Sumatera Selatan. Disini, catatan-catatan
mengenai Itik benjut di Sumatera Selatan dari tahun 1989 sampai 2013 diringkas dan
The Sunda Teal Anas gibberifronsis widespread from the Andaman islands in the Indian
Ocean, through Java to Sulawesi and the Lesser Sundas (Madge & Burn 1988; Carboneras
1992; MacKinnon & Phillips 1993). In the Greater Sundas it is reputedly the commonest
duck species on Java and Bali (MacKinnon & Phillipps 1993) and common in southeast
Sumatra (Verheugt et al. 1993; Holmes 1996), but scarce in Kalimantan (Mann 2008;
Phillipps & Phillipps 2014; Myers 2016). The earliest tentative record from Sumatra was
from Lampung province in 1976 (Holmes 1996), and breeding was first recorded in 1989
at Way Kambas National Park in the same province (Parrot & Andrew 1996). In July
2013, Sunda Teal was commonly seen, and photographed, in a burnt area in the Ogan
Komering Ilir district of southeast South Sumatra (Kamsi 2014). These observations were
reported as constituting the first records of this species from South Sumatra province
(Kamsi 2014), but in fact, Verheugt et al. (1993) had recorded it as a common visitor to
coastal mudflats around the Banyuasin Peninsula, in the northwest of the province, from
April to November. In 1989, numbers rose steadily from 44 on 3 May to a maximum of
350 birds on 1 August, but observations ceased on 30 August. Verheugt et al. (1993)
suggested that local populations congregated in flocks along the coast during the dry
season (April to October or November), and Holmes (1996) suspected that they disperse
inland to breed during the wet season.
The following unpublished records from Banyuasin Peninsula since 1989
demonstrate that the species arrives as early as February. I also provide details of an earlier
observation in the Ogan Komering Ilir district.
Two years after Verheugt et al. (1993) reported numbers on Banyuasin Peninsula, Noor
(1991) observed one Sunda Teal at Tanjung Balu Gedi (02°08’S, 104°54’E) on 2 February
1991.The species was not reported from the district during the next decade until 3 August
2001, when 143 birds were counted (Goenner & Hasudungan 2001). In the same year,
two birds were observed on Bangko River (01°57’S, 104°36’E) on 10 November 2001,
and nine birds between Pulau Alang Gantang and Bangko River (01°57’S, 104°36’E) on
the following day (Hasudungan & Sutaryo 2002a). In 2002, there were three observations
from the Peninsula: 50 birds on 2 March (Hasudungan & Wardoyo 2002a), four birds on
17 June (Hasudungan & Sutaryo 2002b), and 12 birds on 9 October (Hasudungan &
Wardoyo 2002b). In the following year, one bird was seen on Simpang Satu River
Kukila 19, 2016 Short Communication 31
(02°02’S, 104°41’E), on 18 February 2003 (Wardoyo 2003). Finally, in 2006, I observed
20 birds were sighted on Apung River (02°16’S, 104°47’E) on 25 May (Plate 1). Local
people reported seeing ducklings on tambak (fish ponds) during April and May.
Ogan Komering Ilir district
In 2008 I observed Sunda Teal on Pasir River, Sungai Pasir village, Cengal subdistrict, in
the southeast of Ogan Komering Ilir district. Up to 300 birds were seen upstream (c. 13-
15 km inland; 03°38’S, 105°42’E) on 6 July, mixed with 200-300 Lesser Whistling Ducks
Dendrocygna javanica. Subsequently, I observed ten birds at the river mouth (03°37’S,
105°49’E) on 28 November (Plate 2). As at Apung River, local people here reported
ducklings in the fish ponds and adjacent coast during July and August.
Plate 1. Sunda Teal on Apung River, Banyuasin Peninsula, in
Plate 2. Pair of Sunda Teal on
PasirRiver, Ogan Komering Ilir
district, July 2008
Despite a recent claim that the Sunda Teal was first recorded in South Sumatra in 2014
(Kamsi 2014), Verheught et al. (1993) reported the species on Banyuasin Peninsula in the
province’s northwest in 1988-89. They suggested that local populations congregated on
the coast during the dry season, increasing in numbers from April to August. Although
the highest number reported from the Peninsula since 1989 was 350 birds on 1 August
1989 and 143 on 3 August 2001, the second highest was 50 in March 2002, which
represents the late wet season. November and February counts were small (1-9 birds), but
the mid-wet season months of December and January were not sampled. The largest
number reported inland was 300 birds on the Pasir River, Ogan Komering Ilir district, on
The only confirmed breeding record of Sunda Teal in Sumatra comes from Way
Kambas, Lampung province, where a group containing six unfledged ducklings was seen
in the shallow water of a channel between the mudflats of Way Wako and Way Seputih
on 2 June 1989 (Parrott & Andrew 1996). In June 1993, Holmes (1996) reported seeing
32 Short Communication Kukila 19, 2016
five birds, including three putative juveniles, along the Tulang Bawang near Menggala,
central Lampung, probably over 100 km from the coast, but the birds flew off before their
age could be confirmed. Parrott & Andrew (1996) assumed that the ducklings at Way
Kambas had reached the coast by river from a nesting site inland, yet these ducklings were
obviously younger than the putative juveniles seen near Menggala.
The breeding season in Java is from April to August, and November (Hoogerwerf
1950; Hoogerwerf & Hellebrekers 1967). In Lombok, Lesser Sundas, adults have been
found in breeding condition in April, and in Sulawesi, downy young in August (White &
Bruce 1986). In the closely-related Grey Teal A. gracilis, incubation takes c. 28 days, and
ducklings are half grown by c.30 days (Marchant & Higgins 1990). Thus the ducklings at
Way Kambas, Lampung, presumably hatched from eggs laid in late March. This is slightly
earlier than the season in Java. Reports by local people of ducklings in Banyuasin district,
South Sumatra, during April–May, suggest egg-laying even earlier, in February–March.
Reports of ducklings in July–August in Ogan Komering Ilir district, however, are
completely consistent with the Javan breeding season, and support the conclusion that the
species breeds in South Sumatra.
I would firstly like to thank Richard Noske for making substantial improvements to this paper. I
am also grateful to Ferry Hasudungan and Yus Rusila Noor from Wetland International Indonesia
Programme for giving me the opportunity to take part in the fieldwork for the Greater Berbak
Sembilang Project during 2001-2004. My field work on the east coast of South Sumatra was
supported by a Rufford Small Grant and the WCS Research Fellowship Programme. Finally, I am
grateful to two Kukila reviewers for their comments on an earlier version of this paper, and Bas
van Balen for information regarding the breeding season on Java.
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