Histrionicus histrionicus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Anseriformes Anatidae

Scientific Name: Histrionicus histrionicus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Harlequin Duck, Harlequin
Taxonomic Source(s): Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

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): Butchart, S., Calvert, R. & Ekstrom, J.
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 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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Harlequin Duck is found in north-western and north-eastern North America, eastern Russia, the Aleutian Islands, southern Greenland and Iceland. It can winter further south, being found off Korea, northern California and North Carolina (U.S.A.) (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Countries occurrence:
Canada; China; Greenland; Iceland; Japan; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Mexico; Russian Federation (Eastern Asian Russia); Saint Pierre and Miquelon; United States
Austria; Belgium; Croatia; Denmark; France; Germany; Italy; Kazakhstan; Mongolia; Montenegro; Netherlands; Norway; Poland; Serbia; Slovakia; Svalbard and Jan Mayen; Sweden; Switzerland; Ukraine; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:36200000
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]

Population:The global population is estimated to number c.190,000-380,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015), the population in Russia is estimated at c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 wintering individuals (Brazil 2009). The European population is estimated at 4,000-7,000 pairs, which equates to 8,000-14,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend Justification:  The overall population trend is increasing, although some populations may be stable and others have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006). This species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant increase over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007). The population trend in Europe is unknown (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Continuing 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:This species is found breeding on swift torrents and rapid streams of rugged uplands, normally wintering on rocky coastlines. It feeds mainly on insects and their larvae in summer, catching molluscs and crustaceans in winter. Feeding mostly occurs by diving, but also dabbling and head-dipping in shallow water. Breeding begins in May or June, nesting on the ground concealed in vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):7.9
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In Europe, the species is threatened by the development of hydroelectric schemes which result in the diversion and siltation of rivers (Tucker and Heath 1994, Carboneras and Kirwan 2013); one colony may have been lost through the diversion of the River Thorisos. The large-scale introduction of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo samar) and Brown Trout (Salmo trutta) can result in competition for blackfly larvae and pupae, the duck's main food source. In the 1930s American Mink (Mustela vison) were introduced to the European range and subsequently escaped; these may have reduced breeding success although this has not been studied (Tucker and Heath 1994). Oils spills have been known to cause significant mortality outside of Europe (Carboneras and Kirwan 2013). Dredging for minerals in Lake Mývatn may affect algal blooms which form an important food source (Tucker and Heath 1994).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II. Bern Convention Appendix II. The following information refers to the species's European range only: The species is protected against hunting and egg-collecting in Iceland. The core area, River Laxá, is partly protected by law, is an Important Bird Area (IBA) and a Ramsar Site (Tucker and Heath 1994).

Conservation Actions Proposed
The following information refers to the species's European range only: The identification of other rivers with high numbers of breeding pairs is needed and these should be protected from development. A study of the effect of the American Mink on the species should be undertaken (Tucker and Heath 1994). Research should also be undertaken on resource use on the coast, individual females and the survival of small young and the relationship between breeding, moulting and wintering sites (Gardarsson 2008).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Histrionicus histrionicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22680423A85993924. . Downloaded on 19 September 2018.
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