Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman

Red-breasted merganser

Mergus serrator

Middelste zaagbek / Mittelsäger / Harle huppé

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). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very 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.510,000-610,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006). National population estimates include: c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 wintering individuals in China; <c.50 individuals on migration and <c.50 wintering individuals in Taiwan; c.50-10,000 wintering individuals in Korea and c.100,000-1 million breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals in Russia (Brazil 2009).

 

The species is subject to persecution and may be shot (Kear 2005b) by anglers and fish-farmers who accuse it of depleting fish stocks (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Kear 2005b). It is also threatened by accidental entanglement and drowning in fishing nets (Kear 2005b). Alterations to its breeding habitats by dam construction and deforestation, and habitat degradation from water pollution are other major threats to the species (del Hoyoet al. 1992). It is also susceptible to avian influenza so may the threatened by future outbreaks of the virus (Melville and Shortridge 2006). The species is hunted in North America (Kear 2005b) and Denmark (Bregnballe et al. 2006), although it may not be a popular game species (Kear 2005b). The eggs of the species also used to be (and possibly still are) harvested in Iceland (Gudmundsson 1979).

 

More information: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22680485/0

 

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Above: adult male

 

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Above: adult female

 

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Above: two males displaying for female.

 

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Above: adult birds, male left.

 

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Above: adult couple (Chinese mergansers in background)

 

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Above: red-breasted merganser female preening its feathers

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