Behaviour and Ecology of Sea Ducks

Occasional Paper Number 100
Pacific Seabird Group Symposium
Colonial Waterbird Society
Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada
Publication Date: 

Sea Ducks have been marginalized in Waterfowl conservation and management programs as most attention has been focused on the "sport ducks" notably mallards. In fact much of our understanding of the demography and harvest of ducks is based on the mallard model. Preceived lack of interest in the Sea Ducks had led to liberal management of this group. Large harvests in Southern areas and intense subsistence use in the North have proved a dangerous combination. Over the past decade unprecedented conservation issues have arisen amoung the Sea Ducks - notably endangered status for eastern populations of Harlequin Ducks and Threatened status for Spectacled Eiders and Stellers Eiders. Furthermore, all species in the Sea Duck Tribe, except the Mergansers, are exhibiting continental declines. Our understanding of the ecology and causual factors for the declines of these species is poor.