Marbled Duck news from Stephan and Els

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Stephan and Els have read on the AHSA blog something interesting for the CBBC members and others. They have summarised and translated it for us.

AHSA (Amigos de los Humedales del Sur de Alicante) writes recently in its blog about a Marbled Duck that was shot in Pego Marsh last November. This Marbled Duck was ringed in the Rambla de las Moreras, Mazarrón, Murcia. Amazingly, the ring date was 2007, and that makes the bird a champion! The average age of this species is the shortest of all European duck species, only 2.2 years. A ring has never been found on a bird living to it´s third winter. This Marbled Duck lived 7 years and 3 months.

This information could be gathered thanks to the hunters of the area. They send the rings of shot birds to SEO/Birdlife in collaboration with the CSIC. This one was submitted as the ring of a Common Teal.

The AHSA blog describes the status of the Marbled Duck, once a common breeder in our region, as a species now with serious problems in Spain. They make clear that the status of the Marbled duck as ‘in danger of extinction’ does not protect the species, if the authorities do nothing to really enhance the protection of the birds. That a protected bird species can be shot in an official ZEPA (Special Protection Area for Birds), and a Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar Convention), is remarkable. Also remarkable is the fact that no restriction exists on hunting there before day break, which causes protected birds to be shot by mistake, as happened with our champion bird.

For more information see the AHSA blog at