State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Anas crecca Linnaeus, 1758

Vernacular Name
Common Teal, Eurasian Teal, Green-winged Teal, Teal
Conservation status
Value of species
CMS Appendix II.
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 extremely 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. The overall population is estimated at 6,600,000-7,700,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 557,000-915,000 pairs, which equates to 1,110,000-1,830,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Trend Justification: The overall population trend is uncertain, as some populations are decreasing, while others are stable, increasing or have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2015). This species has had stable population trends over the last 40 years in North America (data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007). In Europe the population size trend is unknown (BirdLife International 2015). Behaviour Northern breeding populations of this species are highly migratory (Madge and Burn 1988) although populations in more temperate regions are sedentary (del Hoyo et al. 1992) or locally dispersive (Scott and Rose 1996). The species breeds from May onwards (Madge and Burn 1988) in single pairs or loose groups (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Once females have started incubating (Kear 2005b) (from June or early-July) (Scott and Rose 1996) males congregate (Kear 2005b) and undertake extensive moult migrations or remain near the breeding grounds (Madge and Burn 1988) to undergo a flightless moulting period lasting for c.4 weeks (Scott and Rose 1996) (the females moult on the breeding grounds) (Madge and Burn 1988). After the post-breeding moult migratory populations of the species migrate south, the peak of the autumn migration occurring between October and November (Scott and Rose 1996). It returns to the breeding areas from late-February onwards (peaking March-April) (Scott and Rose 1996). Outside of the breeding season the species forms large concentrations, with large flocks of 30-40 and sometimes hundreds of individuals gathering at winter roosting sites (Brown et al. 1982, Madge and Burn 1988). The species forages at night during the winter (especially during the hunting season) but forages by day during the breeding season (Kear 2005b). Habitat Breeding The species shows a preference for shallow (Madge and Burn 1988, Kear 2005b) permanent waters (Johnsgard 1978) in the breeding season (Madge and Burn 1988, Snow and Perrins 1998), especially those in the vicinity of woodlands with fairly dense herbaceous cover available nearby for nesting (Johnsgard 1978). Small freshwater lakes and shallow marshes with abundant emergent vegetation (Johnsgard 1978, del Hoyo et al. 1992) are preferred to open water (Johnsgard 1978), as are small waterbodies forming part of a larger wetland, lake or river system, especially in the valleys of small forested rivers (Snow and Perrins 1998). Other suitable habitats include small ponds, pools (Madge and Burn 1988, Snow and Perrins 1998), oxbow lakes, lagoons (Snow and Perrins 1998) and slow-flowing streams (Brown et al. 1982, Snow and Perrins 1998). Non-breeding Outside of the breeding season the species frequents similar habitats to those in which it breeds (Brown et al. 1982), including marsh and lake habitats and other sheltered waters with high productivity and abundant vegetation (Kear 2005b) as well as flooded fields and artificial waters (e.g. reservoirs) (Snow and Perrins 1998). During the winter the species also occurs along the coast (del Hoyo et al. 1992, Scott and Rose 1996) on saline (Snow and Perrins 1998) or brackish lagoons with abundant submergent vegetation (Kear 2005b), saltmarshes (Madge and Burn 1988), tidal creeks (Johnsgard 1978), intertidal mudflats (Johnsgard 1978, Kear 2005b), river deltas (Madge and Burn 1988), estuarine waters (Madge and Burn 1988, Kear 2005b) and even sheltered coastal bays (Madge and Burn 1988), although it does show a preference for marshes with mud flats for foraging rather than more saline or open-water habitats (Johnsgard 1978). Diet Breeding In spring and summer the diet of the species consists predominantly of animal matter such as molluscs, worms, insects and crustaceans (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Non-breeding During winter the species mainly takes the seeds of aquatic plants (del Hoyo et al. 1992) (e.g. emergent and submerged macrophytes) (Kear 2005b), grasses, sedges and agricultural grain (del Hoyo et al. 1992) (cereals and rice) (Kear 2005b). Breeding site The nest is a hollow in the ground placed amongst dense vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1992) or under bushes close to water (rarely more then 100 m away) (Kear 2005b). Neighbouring pairs may sometimes nest only 1 m apart although the species is not colonial (Snow and Perrins 1998). 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), and systems that include ponds with fish fry (to provide areas with low fish competition and high invertebrate availability) are more successful in supporting breeding pairs of this species (Musil 2006). Studies in Danish coastal wetlands found that the spatial restriction of shore-based shooting was more successful at maintaining waterfowl population sizes than was the temporal restriction of shooting, and therefore that wildfowl reserves should incorporate shooting-free refuges that include adjacent marshland in order to ensure high waterfowl species diversity (Bregnballe et al. 2004).
Book reference
  • Котенко Т.И., Ардамацкая Т.Б., Дубина Д.В. и др. Биоразнообразие Джарылгача: современное состояние и пути сохранения // Вісник зоології. – 2000. – Спец. випуск. – 240 с.

Taxonomic branch