Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman

Hartlaub's duck

Pteronetta hartlaubi 

Hartlaub's eend / Hartlaubente / Canard de hartlaub

 

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 may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to 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 species is found in forested areas, in particular in secluded marshes and pools within dense, swampy, lowland tropical evergreen forest and gallery forest. It is also found along small rivers and streams in well-wooded savanna areas, and is recorded from salt pans in Congo and Cameroon (F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. Dowsett in litt. 2005). It requires areas of open water such as large rivers or lakes on which to moult (Madge and Burn 1988). The species is sedentary throughout its range and only local movements have been recorded (Scott and Rose 1996). It is likely to breed between August and November, although this is not certain as no nest has ever been found in the wild (Scott and Rose 1996). The species is normally encountered dispersed in pairs or small groups during both the breeding and non-breeding seasons, but it is known to aggregate into larger flocks (> 30 birds) on open water whilst undergoing moult (Madge and Burn 1988). The species generally feeds nocturnally (Kear 2005b), its diet consisting of aquatic invertebrates (insects, arachnids, crustaceans and molluscs), seeds and roots (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt.1999, del Hoyo et al. 1992). No nest has ever been found in the wild, however observations from captive populations suggest that nest sites are most likely to be in tree holes and hollow trees or occasionally on the ground amongst dense cover (Madge and Burn 1988, Kear 2005b).

 

The primary threat to this species is habitat loss due to forest destruction (Scott and Rose 1996). Other threats include hunting, increases in slash-and-burn cultivation, water pollution from mining and poison-fishing, and hydrological changes owing to logging (Holbech 1992, Holbech 1996, W. R .J. Dean in litt. 1999). However, in Cameroon and Nigeria, it appears to survive even in very disturbed areas (P. Hall in litt. 1999, M. Languy in litt. 2000, H. Rainey in litt. 2003) and the Central Africa populations are not considered to be threatened (F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. Dowsett in litt. 2005). The species is hunted and traded at traditional medicine markets in Nigeria (Nikolaus 2001).

 

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Above: adult Hartlaub's duck, female

 

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Above: adult Hartlaub's ducks, female in front, male in background

 

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Above: immature duck (foreground) and adult female (background)

 

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Above: adult Hartlaub's duck, male

 

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Above: adult couple, male in foreground

 

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Above: adult Hartlaub's duck, female

 

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Above: adult Hartlaub's duck, male

 

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Above: adult Hartlaub's duck, female

 

Above: Hartlaub's ducks at Sylvan Heights Bird Park, Scotland Neck, NC, USA

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