Ducks migrate from the US to the wetlands of San Cristóbal, Chiapas


The migratory ducks that have arrived in San Cristóbal de Las Casas for several hundred or thousands of years belong to two species: Spatula Discors and Spatula clypeata.

Between 300 and 400 migratory ducks from the northern United States arrived at three bodies of water located in the San Cristóbal wetlands to spend the winter, reported biologist Manuel Lemus Kourchenko, director of the Institute for Human Development, Spaces and Connectivity, A.C. , dedicated to monitoring birds and species in danger of extinction.

“The migratory ducks that have arrived in San Cristóbal de Las Casas for several hundred or thousands of years belong to two species: Spatula Discors, which is the blue-winged teal, also known as the half-moon duck, which constitute the largest number of individuals, and Spatula clypeata or shoveler duck, whose male is very showy with a green head,” he added.

In an interview he said that the birds, which travel between 10,000 and 12,000 kilometers each year, can be seen every day at dawn and dusk in the Chapultepecc and Kist lagoons, as well as in areas of the María Eugenia wetlands.

“They come from the north of the United States, they stay six months and after the winter they return. This process has been going on for hundreds or thousands of years. They come to the entire southeast of Mexico looking for hot and tropical areas because the lakes in the north freeze. “They come to all bodies of water,” he said.

He stated that “the most abundant species is the Spaula Discor; We find it everywhere, sometimes in Mal Paso, in the Tseltal rivers, in the Lacantún river (in the Lacandona jungle) or the Sabinal, in Tuxtla when it is clean. “They come to the tropical zone and stay in various bodies of water, because several thousand of these birds come.”

Lemus Kourchenko, whose institute has worked for the National Commission of Natural and Protected Areas (Conanp) in training young people to observe birds and monitor the blue-headed parrot in the Lacandona jungle, pointed out that migratory ducks “share the habitat with other species from the San Cristóbal wetlands, such as the black and white-billed hens native here, as well as two or three types of herons, among other birds.

He commented that the ducks arrived during the first days of October and will return to the United States between March and April. “It is part of the annual migration. Several species come, including hummingbirds, hawks and eagles that are sometimes not as visible as ducks,” he stated.

He considered that if the wetlands had not been destroyed as they have been until now, the number of migratory ducks arriving in San Cristóbal would be much greater. “As bodies of water are destroyed, fewer birds of this type will arrive,” he said.

Source: La Jornada