CONSERVATION STATUS.

The slight decline of Ferruginous Ducks in Armenia might be result of occasional or intentional poaching. The licensing conditions for the hunters are not requiring bird identification skills, which means that a hunter could possibly shoot the Ferruginous Duck, without knowing the species, and being unaware that it is included in National and International Red Lists. Another threat can come from the degradation and destruction of well-vegetated shallow pools and other wetland habitats, taking place at Lake Sevan due to non-stable water level, and in Ararat Plain due to expansion and intensification of carp farming that requires large open water areas.

HABITAT.

The Ferruginous Duck inhabits shallow pools and marshes with abundant emergent, floating and shoreline vegetation, such as reeds and willows, and is not avoiding saline, brackish or alkaline lakes, and well-managed fishponds. Outside breeding season, may occur in lakes, inland seas, reservoirs, lagoons and coastal marshes.

FEEDING BEHAVIOR.

Feeds in shallow water by diving, head dipping, upending or dabbling on surface. It is typically found alone or in small parties of up to five birds, even in non-breeding season.

 

EGGS.

8–10. Eggs are pale buff or pale brown. Incubation takes 25–28 days by female alone. Chicks are tended for by female alone in 55–60 days.

YOUNG.

The young are becoming independent just after fledging.

DIET.

The Ferruginous Duck feeds on seeds, roots and green parts of aquatic plants, as well as on aquatic invertebrates (worms, molluscs, crustaceans, insects and larvae), amphibians and small fish. Prefers seeds and other parts of Potamogeton, Ceratophyllum, Scirpus and Carex, and macro-algae such as Chara. Sometimes, animal matter predominates, including invertebrates such as chironomids, snails and beetles, and also small fish and frogs.

NESTING.

Seasonally monogamous, with pairs forming from late January, most birds arriving on breeding grounds in pairs, and dissolving during incubation period. In single pairs or loose groups, occasionally within gull colonies. The species makes nest of reed stems, grass and leaves, lined with down, on ground in dense vegetation or in reedbeds over or near water.

MIGRATION.

The species is migratory, typically departing breeding grounds in September and October, and returning in mid March to mid April.

DISTRIBUTION.

Fragmented populations of the species breed from Central and Southern Europe and Northern Africa east to Mongolia, Pakistan and China.

CONSERVATION MEASURES.

The species is included in IUCN Red List as Near Threatened and in the Red Book of Animals of Armenia (2010) as Vulnerable VU D1. Also the species is listed on Annex I of the European Union Directive on the Conservation of Wild Birds, on Appendix III of the Bern Convention and on Appendices I and II of the Bonn Convention. At current some breeding populations of the species are somewhat covered by the Lake Sevan National Park, however the majority of population inhabiting Ararat Plain, is not protected in the National Protected Area System. Despite on that, on 2016, some wetlands of Ararat Plain have been suggested to be included into Emerald Network, protected under Bern Convention. The proposed conservation measures include further study of the breeding population, designation of new Emerald Sites, development of the management plan for the newly discovered Emerald Sites including protection of the wetlands and shallow marshes, and improvement of hunters education, including designing of identification course as a part of licensing conditions.