Marbled teal – Marmaronetta angustirostris

Ducks in deserts: Marbled teal Marmaronetta angustirostris

Ducks in deserts: Marbled teal Marmaronetta angustirostris

Ducks in the desert?!

To find a species where you least expect to is always a cause for celebration.  To see 1000 marbled teals on one small lake in Tunisian sub-Sahara is an incredible “never to forget” moment for everybody interested in biodiversity and birds!

The marbled teal is widespread from Morocco and Spain east to westernmost China and adapted to temporary, unpredictable, Mediterranean-type wetlands. The marbled teal breeds only in very few areas in fairly dry, steppe-like and shallow ponds with well vegetated shorelines. Due to wetland destruction, desertification and hunting marbled teal suffers a rapid population decline. An European action plan was published in 1996 and is currently being updated. The species is regularly monitored and it is an important indicator when it comes to the designation of protected areas especially in Spain, North Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. 

In Europe it is known only from southernmost Spain, the Caucasus and few pairs in Sicily. While climate models suspect, that this species might expand its range to the north and colonize wetlands in Spain, Portugal, France and Italy, its populations are still declining.

The marbled teal (image: wikipedia)

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