Freckled Duck Stictonetta naevosa


Justification of Red List Category
Although this species may have a small range, it is not believed to 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 appears to be fluctuating, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to 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.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 11,000-26,000 individuals, roughly equating to 7,300-17,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The overall trend is suspected to be fluctuating (Wetlands International 2006).

Distribution and population

This species has been recorded from wetlands across southern Australia, with major concentrations in the Paroo-Warrego catchment (Currawinya Lakes), Eyre-Georgine-Mulligan catchment (Lake Torquinie) and possibly at Lake Galilee. Other inland sites where substantial numbers have been recorded include Cooper's Creek and Bulloo River catchments, the wetlands of the Barkly Tablelands, and Lake Gregory in the central-north of Western Australia. Outside this area, breeding has also been recorded within the rest of the Murray-Darling catchment, notably along the Lachlan River, and swamps within the Millicent Basin of South Australia and Victoria. During extensive inland droughts, permanent wetlands in several states can become important refuge areas.


During times of inland drought, when found closer to the coast, birds are at risk of being misidentified as game species and shot by duck-hunters. Although no correlation between S. naevosa abundance and hunting effort has yet been identified. Plans to extract water from the Paroo River and Cooper's Creek, which would affect the flooding of critical inland swamps, constitute the greatest current threat. For the time being these plans have been shelved, however, should they proceed, it is estimated that the resulting reduction in habitat quality could cause a 20% population decline within three generations (c.15 years) (Garnett and Crowley 2000).


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Harding, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Stictonetta naevosa. Downloaded from on 06/10/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 06/10/2022.