Spatula smithii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Anseriformes Anatidae

Scientific Name: Spatula smithii Hartert, 1891
Common Name(s):
English Cape Shoveler
French Canard du Cap
Anas smithii (Hartert, 1891)
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Taxonomic Notes: Spatula smithii (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Anas.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.
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 increasing, 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 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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Angola; Botswana; Lesotho; Mozambique; Namibia; South Africa; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Swaziland
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:3380000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:13000-33000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Behaviour This species is largely sedentary, but can be somewhat nomadic and dispersive within its southern African range (Scott and Rose 1996). There may also be some true seasonal north-south migrational movements through central South Africa (South African birds have been recovered in Namibia up to 1,650 km away) (Scott and Rose 1996, Kear 2005b). Its movements are poorly understood (Scott and Rose 1996, Hockey, et al. 2005), although migration appears to be between winter- and summer-rainfall areas (Hockey, et al. 2005) and is dependent on water availability, whereas nomadic movements are believed to be responses to food availability (Hockey, et al. 2005). In much of its range this species breeds throughout the year, although in some areas breeding is more seasonal (for example the breeding peak for birds in the south-west of Cape Province, South Africa is August-December) (Kear 2005b). The species breeds in single pairs or loose groups, but may crowd together where suitable nesting sites are scarce (Brown 1982, Madge and Burn 1988). Outside the breeding season the species is usually found in small groups, or very rarely in numbers up to 600 (Madge and Burn 1988, Kear 2005b). Adult birds undergo a period of moulting after breeding during which they are flightless for around 30 days (Brown 1982); during this time they seek the refuge of large open waters (Brown 1982, Scott and Rose 1996) rich in natural foods (Brown 1982). It is both a diurnal and nocturnal feeder (Brown 1982). Habitat This species shows a preference for shallow freshwater and brackish habitats, such as lakes, marshes and temporary floodwaters (Johnsgard, 1978, Brown 1982, Kear 2005b). It will feed in fertile waters rich in planktonic organisms such as sewage disposal ponds, and will also tolerate highly alkaline lakes (pH 10), tidal estuaries, saline lagoons and salt-pans (Johnsgard, 1978, Brown 1982, Scott and Rose 1996, Hockey, et al. 2005, Kear 2005b). It generally avoids deep lakes, fast-flowing rivers, farm dams and reservoirs except as temporary refuges (Johnsgard, 1978, Brown 1982, Madge and Burn 1988, Kear 2005b). Diet This species is omnivorous, commonly consuming the stems and seeds of water plants, snails, insects, molluscs, crustaceans and amphibian larvae (Brown 1982). Animal matter makes up a significantly larger proportion of its diet than does plant matter (Brown 1982). Breeding site The preferred nesting sites of this species are close to highly fertile shallow-water areas that have abundant sources of invertebrate food (Johnsgard, 1978, Kear 2005b). The nest itself is a shallow scrape in earth, often with sides and a canopy built up from vegetation, and it is generally positioned near the waters edge (Johnsgard, 1978, Madge and Burn 1988, Kear 2005b).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):6.6
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The only known potential threats to this species are the reduction of suitable ephemeral wetland habitats (Kear 2005b), and hybridisation with invasive Mallard Anas platyrhynchos (Hockey, et al. 2005). The species is also susceptible to avian botulism, so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the disease (Blaker 1967, van Heerden 1974). Utilisation This species is hunted, and although hunting is not currently a threat, it has the potential to become one if not managed sustainably (Little, et al. 1995, Kear 2005b).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Spatula smithii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22680236A92852018. . Downloaded on 23 May 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided