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Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina
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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). 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 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)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
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.

Trend justification
The overall population trend is uncertain, as some populations are decreasing, while others are increasing, stable, or have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Behaviour The species is fully migratory (Snow and Perrins 1998) or locally dispersive (e.g. in Europe) (del Hoyo et al. 1992) and breeds from mid-April to early-June (Madge and Burn 1988) in single pairs or loose groups (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Males and non-breeders moult and become flightless for four weeks between June and August (females moulting one month later) (Scott and Rose 1996) prior to which they may make extensive moult migrations which take them considerable distances from the breeding waters (Madge and Burn 1988). Once this post-breeding moult is complete the species departs for its winter quarters, arriving there from October onwards (Madge and Burn 1988). The species is highly gregarious for most of the year (Snow and Perrins 1998) and although it is more commonly found in small groups (Madge and Burn 1988) it often forms large concentrations (Madge and Burn 1988, Scott and Rose 1996) of several hundred individuals (Scott and Rose 1996) in moulting and wintering areas (Madge and Burn 1988). It feeds diurnally, being most active during the early morning and evening (Kear2005b). Habitat The species inhabits inland deep fresh or brackish (del Hoyo et al. 1992) reed-fringed lakes, rivers, or saline and alkaline lagoons (Kear2005b) in open country (del Hoyo et al. 1992), also occurring (less often) on estuaries, river deltas and other sheltered coastal habitats (del Hoyo et al. 1992) on passage (Madge and Burn 1988) or during the winter (Scott and Rose 1996). Diet The diet of this species consists predominantly of the roots, seeds and vegetative parts of aquatic plants (Johnsgard 1978, del Hoyo et al. 1992) (e.g. Chara spp. (del Hoyo et al. 1992), Hippurus spp., hornworts Ceratophyllum spp., pondweeds Potamogeton spp., milfoil Myriophyllum spp. (Johnsgard 1978) and especially stonewort Nitellopsis obtusa (Ruiters et al. 1994)), although it will occasionally also take aquatic invertebrates (del Hoyo et al. 1992) (e.g. molluscs) (Johnsgard 1978), amphibians and small fish (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Breeding site The nest is constructed of roots, twigs and leaves near water (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Kear2005b) on the ground in dense vegetation or on floating mats of vegetation amidst reedbeds (Johnsgard 1978). Although the species usually breeds well-dispersed, neighbouring pairs may sometimes nest as close as 30 m apart (Snow and Perrins 1998, Kear2005b). 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 or other herbivorous fish species), and systems that include ponds with fish fry are more likely to have high abundances of aquatic vegetation and are therefore more successful in supporting breeding pairs of this species (Musil 2006).

The two main threats to this species are habitat degradation (Defos du Rau 2002) (e.g. through land-use changes) (Kear2005b) and hunting (Kear2005b) (e.g. the species is hunted in France, Portugal and Spain without any official hunting bag monitoring (Defos du Rau 2002)). The species also suffers poisoning from lead shot ingestion (Spain) (Mateo et al. 1998)and is occasionally drowned in freshwater fishing nets with mesh sizes greater than 5 cm (China) (Quan et al. 2002). Deterioration in the water quality of wetlands can reduce the abundance of stonewort Nitellopsis obtusa (which is an important part of the species's diet) (Ruiters et al. 1994), and it is susceptible to avian influenza so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the virus (Melville and Shortridge 2006). Utilisation The species is hunted recreationally and for commercial purposes in Iran (Balmaki and Barati 2006).

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.

Defos du Rau, P. 2002. Elements for a red-crested pochard (Netta rufina) management plan. Game and Wildlife Science 19(2).

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.

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.

Mateo, R.; Belliure, J.; Dolz, J. C.; Aguilar-Serrano, J. M.; Guitart, R. . 1998. High prevalences of lead poisoning in wintering waterfowl in Spain. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 35: 342-347.

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.

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.

Quan, R. C.; Wen, W.; Yang, X. 2002. Effects of human activities on migratory waterbirds at Lashihai Lake, China. Biological Conservation 108: 273-279.

Ruiters, P. S.; Noordhuis, R.; Van den Berg, M. S. 1994. Stoneworts account for fluctuations in Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina numbers in the Netherlands. Limosa 67(4): 147-158.

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.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from Birds in Europe: population estimates trends and conservation status (BirdLife International 2004)

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

Search for 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: Netta rufina. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

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 (Pallas, 1773)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 3,060,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- 2015 European Red List assessment