email a friend
printable version
Common Teal Anas crecca

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 is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely 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.

Taxonomic source(s)
Cramp, S.; Perrins, C. M. 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Trend justification
The overall population trend is uncertain, as some populations are decreasing, while others are stable, increasing or have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006). This species has had stable population trends over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007).

Behaviour Northern breeding populations of this species are highly migratory (Madge and Burn 1988) although populations in more temperate regions are sedentary (del Hoyo et al. 1992) or locally dispersive (Scott and Rose 1996). The species breeds from May onwards (Madge and Burn 1988) in single pairs or loose groups (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Once females have started incubating (Kear 2005b) (from June or early-July) (Scott and Rose 1996) males congregate (Kear 2005b) and undertake extensive moult migrations or remain near the breeding grounds (Madge and Burn 1988) to undergo a flightless moulting period lasting for c.4 weeks (Scott and Rose 1996) (the females moult on the breeding grounds) (Madge and Burn 1988). After the post-breeding moult migratory populations of the species migrate south, the peak of the autumn migration occurring between October and November (Scott and Rose 1996). It returns to the breeding areas from late-February onwards (peaking March-April) (Scott and Rose 1996). Outside of the breeding season the species forms large concentrations, with large flocks of 30-40 and sometimes hundreds of individuals gathering at winter roosting sites (Brown et al. 1982, Madge and Burn 1988). The species forages at night during the winter (especially during the hunting season) but forages by day during the breeding season (Kear 2005b). Habitat Breeding The species shows a preference for shallow (Madge and Burn 1988, Kear 2005b) permanent waters (Johnsgard 1978) in the breeding season (Madge and Burn 1988, Snow and Perrins 1998), especially those in the vicinity of woodlands with fairly dense herbaceous cover available nearby for nesting (Johnsgard 1978). Small freshwater lakes and shallow marshes with abundant emergent vegetation (Johnsgard 1978, del Hoyo et al. 1992) are preferred to open water (Johnsgard 1978), as are small waterbodies forming part of a larger wetland, lake or river system, especially in the valleys of small forested rivers (Snow and Perrins 1998). Other suitable habitats include small ponds, pools (Madge and Burn 1988, Snow and Perrins 1998), oxbow lakes, lagoons (Snow and Perrins 1998) and slow-flowing streams (Brown et al. 1982, Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season the species frequents similar habitats to those in which it breeds (Brown et al. 1982), including marsh and lake habitats and other sheltered waters with high productivity and abundant vegetation (Kear 2005b) as well as flooded fields and artificial waters (e.g. reservoirs) (Snow and Perrins 1998). During the winter the species also occurs along the coast (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Scott and Rose 1996) on saline (Snow and Perrins 1998) or brackish lagoons with abundant submergent vegetation (Kear 2005b), saltmarshes (Madge and Burn 1988), tidal creeks (Johnsgard 1978), intertidal mudflats (Johnsgard 1978, Kear 2005b), river deltas (Madge and Burn 1988), estuarine waters (Madge and Burn 1988, Kear 2005b) and even sheltered coastal bays (Madge and Burn 1988), although it does show a preference for marshes with mud flats for foraging rather than more saline or open-water habitats (Johnsgard 1978). Diet Breeding In spring and summer the diet of the species consists predominantly of animal matter such as molluscs, worms, insects and crustaceans (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Non-breeding During winter the species mainly takes the seeds of aquatic plants (del Hoyo et al. 1992) (e.g. emergent and submerged macrophytes) (Kear 2005b), grasses, sedges and agricultural grain (del Hoyo et al. 1992) (cereals and rice) (Kear 2005b). Breeding site The nest is a hollow in the ground placed amongst dense vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1992) or under bushes close to water (rarely more then 100 m away) (Kear 2005b). Neighbouring pairs may sometimes nest only 1 m apart although the species is not colonial (Snow and Perrins 1998). Management information A study in the Czech Republic found that fish ponds with a fish stock density of less than 400 kg ha1, water transparency of more than 50 cm, mixed fish stocks (e.g. tench and pike or perch) rather than monospecific stocks (e.g. of carp), and systems that include ponds with fish fry (to provide areas with low fish competition and high invertebrate availability) are more successful in supporting breeding pairs of this species (Musil 2006). Studies in Danish coastal wetlands found that the spatial restriction of shore-based shooting was more successful at maintaining waterfowl population sizes than was the temporal restriction of shooting, and therefore that wildfowl reserves should incorporate shooting-free refuges that include adjacent marshland in order to ensure high waterfowl species diversity (Bregnballe et al. 2004).

This species is threatened by lowland habitat loss and degradation (e.g. through wetland drainage) (Musil 2006) and by upland habitat loss due to afforestation and other land-use changes (Kear 2005b). The species suffers mortality as a result of lead shot ingestion (France) (Mondain-Monval et al. 2002) and from poisoning by white phosphorous ingestion (from firearms) in Alaska (Steele et al. 1997). It is also intensively hunted in its winter quarters (del Hoyo et al. 1992). The species is threatened by disturbance from human recreational activities (Pease et al. 2005), hunting (Bregnballe et al. 2004) and construction work (UK) (Burton et al. 2002). The species is susceptible to avian botulism (Rocke 2006) and avian influenza (Melville and Shortridge 2006, Gaidet et al. 2007) so may be threatened by future outbreaks of these diseases. Utilisation The species is hunted for sport in North America (Baldassarre and Bolen 1994, Padding et al. 2006), Denmark (Bregnballe et al. 2006), France (Mondain-Monval et al. 2006) and Italy (Sorrenti et al. 2006), and is hunted commercially and recreationally in Iran (Balmaki and Barati 2006). The eggs of this species were (and possibly still are) harvested in Iceland (Gudmundsson 1979).

Baldassarre, G. A.; Bolen, E. G. 1994. Waterfowl ecology and management. John Wiley, New York.

Balmaki, B.; Barati, A. 2006. Harvesting status of migratory waterfowl in northern Iran: a case study from Gilan Province. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 868-869. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.

Bregnballe, T.; Madsen, J., Rasmussen, P. A. F. 2004. Effects of temporal and spatial hunting control in waterbird reserves. Biological Conservation 119: 93-104.

Bregnballe, T.; Noer, H.; Christensen, T. K.; Clausen, P.; Asferg, T.; Fox, A. D.; Delany, S. 2006. Sustainable hunting of migratory waterbirds: the Danish approach. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 854-860. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.

Brown, L. H.; Urban, E. K.; Newman, K. 1982. The birds of Africa vol I. Academic Press, London.

Burton, N. H. K.; Rehfisch, M. M.; Clark, N. A. 2002. Impacts of Disturbance from Construction Work on the Densities and Feeding Behavior of Waterbirds using the Intertidal Mudflats of Cardiff Bay, UK. Environmental Management 30(6): 865-871.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A.; Sargatal, J. 1992. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 1: Ostrich to Ducks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Delany, S.; Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Gaidet, N.; Dodman, T.; Caron, A.; Balança, G.; Desvaux, S.; Goutard, F.; Cattoli, G.; Lamarque, F.; Hagemeijer, W.; Monicat, F. 2007. Avian Influenza Viruses in Water Birds, Africa. Emerging Infectious Diseases 13(4): 626-629.

Gudmundsson, F. 1979. The past status and exploitation of the Myvatn waterfowl populations. Oikos 32((1-2)): 232-249.

Johnsgard, P. A. 1978. Ducks, geese and swans of the World. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London.

Kear, J. 2005. Ducks, geese and swans volume 2: species accounts (Cairina to Mergus). Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K.

Madge, S.; Burn, H. 1988. Wildfowl. Christopher Helm, London.

Melville, D. S.; Shortridge, K. F. 2006. Migratory waterbirds and avian influenza in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway with particular reference to the 2003-2004 H5N1 outbreak. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 432-438. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.

Mondain-Monval, J. Y.; Defos du Rau, P.; Mathon, N.; Olivier, A.; Desnouhes, L. 2006. The monitoring of hunting bags and hunting effort in the Camargue, France. In: Boere, G., Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 862-863. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.

Mondain-Monval, J. Y.; Desnouhes, L.; Taris, J. P. 2002. Lead shot ingestion in waterbirds in the Camargue, (France). Game and Wildlife Science 19(3): 237-246.

Murphy-Klassen, H. M.; Underwood, T. J.; Sealy, S. G.; Czyrny, A. A. 2005. Long-term trends in spring arrival dates of migrant birds at Delta Marsh, Manitoba, in relation to climate change. The Auk 122: 1130-1148.

Musil, P. 2006. A review of the effects of intensive fish production on waterbird breeding populations. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 520-521. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.

Padding, P. I..; Gobeil, J-F.; Wentworth, C. 2006. Estimating waterfowl harvest in North America. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 849-852. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.

Pease, M. L.; Rose, R. K.; Butler, M. J. 2005. Effects of human disturbances on the behavior of wintering ducks. Wildlife Society Bulletin 33(1): 103-112.

Rocke, T. E. 2006. The global importance of avian botulism. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 422-426. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.

Scott, D. A.; Rose, P. M. 1996. Atlas of Anatidae populations in Africa and western Eurasia. Wetlands International, Wageningen, Netherlands.

Snow, D. W.; Perrins, C. M. 1998. The Birds of the Western Palearctic vol. 1: Non-Passerines. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Sorrenti, M.; Carnacina, L.; Radice, D.; Costato, A. 2006. Duck harvest in the Po delta, Italy. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 864-865. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.

Steele, B. B.; Reitsma, L. R.; Racine, C. H.; Burson, S. L. III.; Stuart, R.; Theberge, R. 1997. Different susceptibilities to white phosphorous poisoning among five species of ducks. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 16(11): 2275-2282.

Vahatalo, A. V.; Rainio, K.; Lehikoinen, A.; Lehikoinen, E. 2004. Spring arrival of birds depends on the North Atlantic Oscillation. Journal of Avian Biology 35: 210-216.

Wetlands International; IUCN SSC Threatened Waterfowl Specialist Group. Undated. Ducks, Geese, Swans and Screamers: an action plan for the conservation of Anseriformes; second external draft for comment. Wetlands International & IUCN.

Further web sources of information
Detailed regional assessment and species account from the European Red List of Birds (BirdLife International, 2015)

Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates, trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Fisher, S., Malpas, L.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Anas crecca. Downloaded from on 01/07/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 01/07/2015.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Teal (Anas crecca) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Anatidae (Ducks, Geese, Swans)
Species name author Linnaeus, 1758
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 26,400,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment