The marbled duck
Its European population is almost exclusively confined to wetlands in Spain, such as the Guadalquivir or the El Hondo marshes and Santa Pola salinas (salt pans) on the Mediterranean coast. Indeed, the marshes and lagoons of Andalucía, Murcia and Valencia are the most important regions in Europe inhabited by this small masked duck.
However, the degradation and loss of natural wetlands, its habitat, are threatening its survival and future. Currently, its population in Spain is under 75 pairs, which is why it is considered “Critically Endangered”. Therefore, it is essential to do everything possible to conserve and protect our wetlands”.
Albufera de Valencia
El Hondo Natural Park in Alicante
The Guadalquivir marshes
The Laguna de la Morera in Murcia
View of the salt marsh in the Poniente reservoir in the Valencian Community
Its main threat is habitat degradation, due to inadequate water management.
Accidental hunting due to confusion with hunting species.
Of lesser importance, predation and disease associated with poor water quality and competition with introduced invasive species, such as carp and red crayfish.
As a consequence, the marbled duck is included in Annex I of the Birds Directive, with an Action Plan in the European Union. In Spain, is listed as “Critically Endangered” by the IUCN and “Endangered” in the Spanish Catalogue of Threatened Species. In addition, the species has been declared as critically endangered by the Ministry for Ecological Transition in October 2018.