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LC
Ruddy-headed Goose Chloephaga rubidiceps

Justification
This species has a very 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.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.html.
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Distribution and population
This species breeds on northern Tierra del Fuego Island (Chile and Argentina) and southern Santa Cruz, wintering in southern Buenos Aires, Argentina; there is also a virtually sedentary population on the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Population justification
The species has a large global population estimated to be 43,000-82,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006). The population on mainland South America has decreased considerably, with simultaneous censuses in southern Chile and Argentina recording 312 individuals in 1998 (Y. A. Vilina in litt. 1998). Although abundant on Tierra del Fuego in the 1950s, a census in the 1973 breeding season yielded only 30 birds (del Hoyo et al. 1992). However, it is fairly common in the Falklands with 14,000-27,000 pairs estimated in surveys between 1983 and 1992 (Woods and Woods 1997).

Trend justification
The overall trend is decreasing, although some populations may be stable (Wetlands International 2006).

Ecology
The species is found in open country, frequenting coastal grassland and meadows, often with Upland Goose C. picta and Ashy-headed Goose C. poliocephala (Argentina only). It feeds on roots, leaves, stems and seed-heads of grasses and sedges in natural grasslands, pastures and agricultural lands (del Hoyo et al. 1992). It nests from late September to early November in the Falklands, with nests recorded until January on Tierra del Fuego (Woods and Woods 1997, Chebez 1994).

Threats
The Argentinean federal government declared C. rubidiceps a pest in the 1960s, claiming it fed on wheat and corn crops, and competed with sheep and cattle stocks for grassland resources in Buenos Aires (Chebez 1994). Although there is no evidence to support the latter and its numbers are too few to seriously effect the former, this promoted the active destruction of the species and persecution at its wintering grounds is certainly a factor contributing to its decline. However, this is not true on the Falklands, where 100,000 were killed in the period 1905-1912 and fair numbers are still killed each year, but the mobility of the species apparently renders efforts to reduce its numbers ineffective (del Hoyo et al. 1992). It was also removed from the list of pest species (Schedule I of the 1964 Wild Animals and Bird Protection Ordinance) on the Falklands in 1985 (Woods and Woods 1997). The introduction of Patagonian Grey Fox Dusicyon griseus as a control for the European Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus on Tierra del Fuego is perhaps also a contributory factor in the species's decline (Chebez 1994). It is possible that the smaller sized C. rubidiceps is at some disadvantage in interspecific encounters with the larger and perhaps more aggressive C. picta leading to the displacement of C. rubidiceps from foraging and nesting sites.

References
Chebez, J. C. 1994. Los que se van: especies argentinas en peligro. Albatros, Buenos Aires.

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.

Wetland International - China Office. 2006. Relict Gull surveys in Hongjianao, Shaanxi Province. Newsletter of China Ornithological Society 15(2): 29.

Woods, R. W.; Woods, A. 1997. Atlas of breeding birds of the Falkland Islands. Anthony Nelson, Oswestry, U.K.

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Chloephaga rubidiceps. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/04/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/04/2014.

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 - Ruddy-headed goose (Chloephaga rubidiceps) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Anatidae (Ducks, geese and swans)
Species name author P.L. Sclater, 1861
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 52,900 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species