Range & Status
Holarctic; in Britain and Ireland there are 800 pairs breed; 17,500 in winter.
Cornwall: winter visitor in small numbers (50 in total), but numbers gradually increasing, the most favoured sites rarely holding more than ten birds. Isles of Scilly: up to 20 breeding pairs, mostly on Tresco and St. Mary' s, with 50-80 birds wintering. This is the only breeding site west of Dorset and winter numbers attain level of National Importance.
Habitat & Ecology
Favours shallow freshwater lakes, but becoming more regular on tidal estuaries in recent years, associating with Wigeon Anas penelope .
Vulnerable to disturbance. Ducklings are frequently predated by gulls on Scilly.
Protected under Schedule 2, Part 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and Annexe 11/1 of the European Union Conservation of Wild Birds Directive. Listed (long list) as a globally threatened/declining species (BSGR, 1995).