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Towards the European eradication of the North American ruddy duck

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-article


  • P.A. Robertson
  • A. Caizergues
  • P. A. Cranswick
  • C. Gutiérrez-Expósito
  • I. Henderson
  • B. Hughes
  • A.C. Mill
  • G.C. Smith

External Organisations

  • National Wildlife Management Centre, Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency
  • Office National de la Chasse et de la Faune Sauvage, Direction des Etudes et de la Recherche, CNERA Avifaune Migratrice
  • Wildlfowl and Wetlands Trust
  • School of Biology, Newcastle University
  • Departamento de Biología de la Conservación, Estación Biológica de Doñana (CSIC)


Original languageEnglish
JournalBiological Invasions
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)9-12
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2015


The North American ruddy duck is an invasive alien species in Europe, which threatens the native white-headed duck through hybridisation. A substantial population established in the UK following escapes and releases beginning in the 1950s. The species then spread widely within Europe, with records across much of the continent, and viable populations established in Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Spain. An international plan to eradicate the species from Europe has been adopted, but the approaches and intensity of control have varied widely between countries. We report on progress towards eradication across the continent. Numbers in 2013 were less than 7 % of the 2000 population, although coordinated action is still required to achieve eradication. The European Union is considering a new legislative instrument on Invasive Alien Species, which is likely to place responsibilities on member states to control
named species. Coordinated control across those member states with remaining ruddy duck populations is likely to be an early test of any new responsibilities,
with the potential to achieve the first continental scale eradication of an invasive alien species.
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  • Robertson_etal_2015_BiologicalInvasions

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