Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Anseriformes Anatidae

Scientific Name: Alopochen mauritiana
Species Authority: (Newton & Gadow, 1893)
Common Name(s):
English Mauritius Shelduck, Mauritian Shelduck
Alopochen mauritianus
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. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A. & Butchart, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Brooks, T., Khwaja, N., Mahood, S.
This species was endemic to Mauritius, but is now Extinct. It was last recorded in 1693, when it was said to be rare, and could not be found in 1698. Hunting is thought to have caused its extinction.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Extinct (EX)
2004 Extinct (EX)
2000 Extinct (EX)
1994 Extinct (EX)
1988 Extinct (EX)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Alopochen mauritianus was endemic to Mauritius (Cheke 1987). Although the only specimens of the species are two carpometacarpii (Cowles 1987), it is known from numerous travellers' reports. By 1693, the species was rare and, by 1698, it was extinct (Cheke 1987).

Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):Unknown
Extreme 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.

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:In 1681, it was noted to be plentiful "in the woods or dry ponds" (Cheke 1987).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):7.8
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It was presumably heavily hunted because it was described as "not large, but fat and good".

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:No
  Occur in at least one PA:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return ♦ scope: Whole (>90%) ♦ severity: Very Rapid Declines  
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Cheke, A.S. 1987. An ecological history of the Mascarene Islands, with particular reference to extinctions and introductions of land vertebrates. In: Diamond, A.W. (ed.), Studies of Mascarene island birds, pp. 5-89. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

Cowles, G. S. 1987. The fossil record. In: Diamond, A.W. (ed.), Studies of Mascarene Island birds, pp. 90-100. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Alopochen mauritiana. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22728658A38896122. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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