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LC
African Black Duck Anas sparsa

Justification
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). 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)
Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Li
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Trend justification
The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations may be stable and others have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Ecology
Behaviour It is not a migrant, being territorial and sedentary within a permanent range (Scott and Rose 1996), although in South Africa some birds move from rivers to large local open waters to roost, returning to the rivers in the early morning (Scott and Rose 1996). This species breeds irregularly, the timing of breeding varying with locality (del Hoyo, et al. 1992), and throughout both breeding and non-breeding seasons the species remains dispersed as individuals or single pairs (Kear 2005b). It does not form large aggregations (Kear 2005b), although roosting flocks may be large (Brown, et al. 1982). Adults undergo a flightless moulting period lasting around 25-30 days; males moulting between October and February (numbers peaking in November), females between November and February (numbers peaking in December) (Hockey, et al. 2005). The species is diurnal, usually resting at night and spending daylight hours feeding, sleeping and preening (Brown, et al. 1982). Habitat This species prefers fast-flowing shallow rivers and streams with rocky substrates, particularly in wooded and mountainous country (Johnsgard 1978, Hockey, et al. 2005) up to 4,250 m (Scott and Rose 1996). It can also be found in open, arid habitats and on lakes, reservoirs, lagoons, sandy-bottomed estuaries, stagnant or slow-flowing water (Johnsgard 1978, Brown, et al. 1982), and sewage ponds (Hockey, et al. 2005). During this species' flightless moult period it requires cover near its foraging areas (e.g. lodged branches or undercut banks) (Hockey, et al. 2005). Diet It has an omnivorous diet consisting of waterweeds and other aquatic vegetation, agricultural grain (Johnsgard 1978, Hockey, et al. 2005), fruits from terrestrial plants overhanging the water, mulberries (Morus), firethorn (Pryacantha) berries, fallen acorns (Hockey, et al. 2005), aquatic insects and their larvae, crustaceans, larval amphibians and fish spawn (Johnsgard 1978, Hockey, et al. 2005). Breeding site Ground cavity nests and elevated tree-nesting sites have been reported for this species, but usually nests are sited close to running water on islands, grassy river banks, in reedbeds or amongst driftwood (Johnsgard 1978). Important criteria for suitable nest sites are close proximity to water and near invisibility from above (Johnsgard 1978).

Threats
The species is threatened by deforestation in Kenya (del Hoyo, et al. 1992), and as it is a river specialist it is vulnerable to habitat loss through river degradation (Hockey, et al. 2005) such as dam building, water extraction (Hockey, et al. 2005, Kear 2005b), siltation, pollution, clearing of riparian vegetation and alien biota (Hockey, et al. 2005). Hybridisation of the species with Mallard Anas platyrhynchos is also a potential threat (Hockey, et al. 2005).

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

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.

Hockey, P. A. R.; Dean, W. R. J.; Ryan, P. G. 2005. Roberts birds of southern Africa. Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town, South Africa.

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.

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

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Anas sparsa. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/04/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/04/2014.

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.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Anatidae (Ducks, geese and swans)
Species name author Eyton, 1838
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 9,210,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Climate change species distributions