Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman
Spatula querquedula (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Anas.
The garganey is a small dabbling duck. It breeds in much of Europe and western Asia, but is strictly migratory, with the entire population moving to southern Africa, India (in particular Santragachi), and Australasia in winter, where large flocks can occur. This species was first described by Linnaeus in 1758 under its current scientific name. Like other small ducks such as the common teal, this species rises easily from the water with a fast twisting wader-like flight.
Their breeding habitat is grassland adjacent to shallow marshes and steppe lakes.
The common English name dates from the 17th century and comes from dialect Italian gargenei, a variant of garganello, which ultimately comes from the Late Latin gargala"tracheal artery". The English usage owes its origins to Conrad Gesner who used the Italian name in the third volume of his Historiae Animalium (History of Animals) of 1555.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern (IUCN, 2012).
The global population is estimated to number c.2,600,000-2,800,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population estimates include: c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in China, c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and <c.50 wintering individuals in Taiwan and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration in Japan (Brazil 2009).
The most significant threat encountered by this species on its breeding grounds in Europe is habitat deterioration through the drainage and reclamation of wetlands (Kear 2005b), the increasing climatic aridity and subsequent lowering of the water table, and the transformation of wetlands to dammed reservoirs (Scott and Rose 1996). Other threats to this species include the destruction of nests during the early mowing of meadows (Kear 2005b), increased human disturbance (Kear 2005b), lead poisoning, botulism during hot summers (Kear 2005b) and hunting disturbance in Africa and Europe (Vaananen 2001) (> 500,000 are shot annually in Russia, Ukraine, France and Poland) (Kear 2005b). The invasive species American Mink Mustela vison also poses a threat through nest predation (Opermanis et al. 2001), and the species is susceptible to avian influenza (particularly strain H5N1) so is therefore threatened by outbreaks of the virus (Melville and Shortridge 2006). Non-breeding On its wintering grounds in Nigeria and Senegal the species is threatened by habitat destruction through dam construction, vegetation overgrowth and desertification (de Hoyo. 1992, Polet 2000, Triplett and Yesou 2000), and in West Africa it is threatened by large-scale river diversion and irrigation schemes (Scott and Rose 1996). The species is also at risk from avain influenza in its African wintering grounds (Gaidet et al. 2007) as well as in its breeding areas (Melville and Shortridge 2006). The proportion of the species which migrates via the West Siberian flyway is susceptible to West Nile Virus, and is therefore threatened by future outbreaks (Ternovoi et al. 2004). This species is hunted in Denmark , but there is evidence that this may be sustainable (Bregnballe et al. 2006). The species is also hunted for commercial and recreational purposes in Gilan Province, northern Iran (Balmaki and Barati 2006).
More information: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22680313/0
Usually placed in Anas like most dabbling ducks, it stands well apart from such species as the mallard and together with the shovelers and their relatives forms a "blue-winged" group that may warrant separation as genus Spatula (del Hoyo and Collar 2014).
Above: three adult Garganeys males
Above: adult Garganey male
Above: adult Garganey female
Above: adult pair Garganey in eclipse plumage (female in front, male in back)
Above: juvenile Garganey