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Hottentot Teal Spatula hottentota
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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 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.

Taxonomic source(s)
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.

Taxonomic note
Spatula hottentota (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Anas.

Anas hottentota (Eyton, 1838)

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

Behaviour This species is sedentary in West Africa and Madagascar but partly migratory elsewhere (Scott and Rose 1996), undertaking regular but unpredictable (del Hoyo, et al. 1992) short-distance movements (up to 700 km) in southern and eastern Africa in response to changing water levels (Scott and Rose 1996). It breeds in single pairs in all months of the year (dependant upon local rainfall) (Brown, et al, 1982), and remains in small groups even outside of the breeding season, although large aggregations have been recorded rarely (Madge and Burn 1988, Kear 2005b). Adults undergoing wing moult have been recorded in August-September in Zambia (Scott and Rose 1996). The species is crepuscular, being active usually only at dusk and dawn (Madge and Burn 1988, Kear 2005b). Habitat This species frequents shallow, freshwater marshes, swamps, pools and lakes, feeding at muddy edges and amongst submerged, floating (water-lilies) and emergent (Papyrus, reeds - Phragmites spp., bullrushes - Typha spp.) vegetation (Madge and Burn 1988, del Hoyo, et al. 1992, Kear 2005b). It may occasionally be seen on more open lakes and reservoirs (Madge and Burn 1988), or sewage pans (Brown, et al, 1982, Hockey, et al. 2005), and will feed on land in flooded fields, rice paddies and waterside areas heavily disturbed by wild ungulates or cattle (Kear 2005b). During the dry season this species regularly occurs in small numbers on small scattered pans in semi-arid regions (Scott and Rose 1996). Throughout the day the species often sleeps on open water or in quiet marshy backwaters (Johnsgard 1978, Kear 2005b), and may also rest on land (Brown, et al, 1982). Diet This species is omnivorous (Kear 2005b), as although its diet consists largely of seeds (especially of the grass Sacciolepis) (Johnsgard 1978), fruits and other vegetable matter, it may take aquatic invertebrates such as crustaceans, molluscs, water insects such as beetles and the larvae of flies (especially if these are super-abundant) (Johnsgard 1978, Brown, et al, 1982, del Hoyo, et al. 1992, Hockey, et al. 2005, Kear 2005b). Breeding site Nests are built from surrounding vegetation and well hidden above water in drowned trees, Phragmites or Typha reeds, Cyperus sedge or in Papyrus clumps (Brown, et al, 1982, Madge and Burn 1988, Kear 2005b). Usually this species nests singly, but pairs will sometimes nest close together (Brown, et al, 1982).

Habitat degradation (e.g. wetland conversion by commercial and subsistence agriculture in South Africa) (Hockey, et al. 2005) is the main threat to this species, so the protection of wetlands and waterside vegetation (also deliberately burnt in South Africa) (Hockey, et al. 2005) is necessary to maintain populations (Kear 2005b). Utilisation This species is hunted (e.g. it is hunted for local consumption and trade at Lake Chilwa, Malawi) (Bhima 2006), and although hunting at current levels does not threaten the species (del Hoyo, et al. 1992, Scott and Rose 1996, Kear 2005b), a control of hunting practices may be necessary in the future to maintain population sizes at current levels (del Hoyo, et al. 1992, Kear 2005b).

Bhima, R. 2006. Subsistence use of waterbirds at Lake Chilwa, Malawi. In: Boere, G.; Galbraith, C., Stroud, D. (ed.), Waterbirds around the world, pp. 255-256. The Stationary Office, Edinburgh, UK.

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.

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

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

Further web sources of information
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
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Spatula hottentota. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

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, Swans)
Species name author (Eyton, 1838)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 7,950,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change