White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: #http://www.aerc.eu/DOCS/Bird_taxa_of _the_WP15.xls#.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- A2bcde+4bcde A2bcde+3bcde+4bcde; C1+2a(ii)

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2017 Endangered A2bcde+4bcde
2016 Endangered A2bcde+4bcde
2012 Endangered A2bcde+4bcde
2008 Endangered A2b,c,d,e; A4b,c,d,e
2006 Endangered
2004 Endangered
2000 Endangered
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
1988 Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Average mass -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 17,600,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 14,100,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 5300-8700 good estimated 2002
Population trend Decreasing medium estimated -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 30-49 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 50-79 - - -
Number of subpopulations 2-100 - - -
Largest subpopulations 1-89 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 6 - - -

Population justification: The population is estimated to number 2,500 individuals in Spain and Morocco (J. A. Torres Esquivias and A. Green in litt. 2002); 400-600 individuals in Algeria and Tunisia (H. Azafzaf and P. Isenmann in litt. 2002); 5,000-10,000 individuals in the east Mediterranean and south-west Asia, and 10 individuals in south Asia (Wetlands International 2016). This totals 7,900-13,100 individuals, roughly equating to 5,300-8,700 mature individuals. Within Europe the breeding population is estimated at 250-610 pairs, which equates to 500-1,200 mature individuals. The number of wintering birds in Europe is estimated at 7,500-15,900 individuals (BirdLife International 2015). However, a count of over 20,000 individuals were counted on the Tengiz-Korgalzhyn Lakes, Akmola region, Kazakhstan in September 2016 (ACBK 2016).

Trend justification: Attempting a global trend analysis using current figures, as presented by Orueta (2016), gives a decline of 34.4% between 2005 and 2013, which would equate to a decline of 61.3% over 3 generations (18 years). However, given that the global total number of individuals in the 2013 mid-winter count was only 4,635 individuals this suggests that a lot of individuals were missed during these surveys (as Azerbaijan alone was estimated to have 5,000-10,000 individuals over-wintering in 2014 [BirdLife International 2015]). Support for the idea that many individuals are missed during these counts comes from the fact that a census in Uzbekistan has found >5,000 birds (Li et al. 2006), and only last year co-ordinated counts in Kazakhstan located >20,000 individuals (ACBK 2016). While some of these Kazakhstan birds will potentially migrate to known sites, and may be picked up during other mid-winter surveys, it is obvious that a large proportion of the population is not being recorded. This makes deciphering population trends very difficult, if not impossible, without further information. Until a clearer picture can be established, an estimated global decline of 50-79% in three generations is precautionarily maintained. Co-ordinated global surveys during winter are needed to clarify the overall population trend.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant Yes
Albania V Extant Yes
Algeria N Extant Yes
Armenia N Extant Yes
Austria V Extant
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes Yes
Belgium V Extant
Bosnia and Herzegovina V Extant
Bulgaria N Extant Yes Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Croatia U Extant
Cyprus N Extant Yes
Denmark V Extant
Egypt V Extant Yes
France V Extant Yes
Georgia N Extant Yes
Germany V Extant
Greece N Extant Yes
Hungary N Extinct Yes
India N Extant Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes
Israel N Extant Yes
Italy V Extant Yes
Jordan N Extant Yes Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes Yes
Kyrgyzstan N Extant Yes Yes
Libya V Extant
Malta V Extant
Mongolia N Extant Yes
Montenegro U Extant
Morocco N Extant Yes
Netherlands V Extant
North Macedonia U Extant Yes
Pakistan N Extant Yes
Palestinian Authority Territories U Extant Yes Yes
Poland V Extant
Portugal V Extant
Romania N Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (Central Asian) N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Saudi Arabia V Extant Yes
Serbia U Extant
Slovakia V Extant
Slovenia V Extant
Spain N Extant Yes
Switzerland V Extant
Syria N Extant Yes
Tajikistan N Extant Yes
Tunisia N Extant Yes
Turkey N Extant Yes Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes
Ukraine N Extant Yes
Uzbekistan N Extant Yes Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Cyprus Akrotiri salt-lake including Bishop's Pool
Cyprus Larnaca Salt Lakes
North Macedonia Lake Dojran
Serbia Slano Kopovo
Serbia Subotica lakes and sandy terrain
Azerbaijan Lake Boz-Koba
Azerbaijan Divichi liman (or Lake Akzibir)
Azerbaijan Aggyol
Azerbaijan Lake Sarysu
Azerbaijan Lake Ych-chala (Novogolovka-chala)
Cyprus Akhna dam
Bulgaria Atanasovsko Lake
Bulgaria Varna-Beloslav Lakes Complex
Bulgaria Pomorie Lake
Romania Lake Techirghiol
Romania Danube Delta and Razelm-Sinoe complex
Turkey Manyas Lake (Kuş Lake)
Turkey Marmara Lake
Turkey Çorak Lake
Turkey Salda Lake
Turkey Karataş Lake
Turkey Yarışlı Lake
Turkey Burdur Lake
Turkey Uyuz Lake
Turkey Çöl Lake and Çalıkdüzü
Turkey Mogan lake
Turkey Sinop Peninsula
Turkey Sultan Marsh
Turkey Hirfanlı Reservoir
Turkey Kızılırmak Delta
Turkey Kozanlı Gökgöl
Turkey Kulu Lake
Turkey Ereğli Plain
Turkey Hotamış Marshes
Turkey Akyatan Lake
Turkey Agyatan Lake
Turkey Kuyucuk Lake
Turkey Kars Plain
Turkey Sodalıgöl (Arın Lake)
Greece Lakes Volvi, Koroneia and Rentina Gorge
Greece Porto Lagos, lake Vistonida and coastal lagoons
Greece Alyki Kitrous lagoon
Greece Evros delta
Greece Lake Ismarida (Mitrikou)
Greece Lake Kerkini
Russia (European) Varfolomeyevskiye saltmarshes
Russia (European) Novokvasnikovski liman
Russia (European) Eastern coast of the Sea of Azov
Russia (European) Dadynskiye lakes
Spain Medina and Puerto Real lagoons
Spain Lagunas de El Puerto de Santa María
Spain Lebrija, Las Cabezas and Espera lagoons
Spain Guadalquivir marshes
Spain Wetlands at south Córdoba
Spain Albufera de Mallorca and Albufereta de Pollença marshes
Spain Wetlands of western Almería
Spain Middle section of river Guadalquivir reservoirs
Spain Fuente de Piedra, Gosque and Campillos lakes
Spain Ecija-Osuna plain
Spain El Hondo wetland
Spain Alcázar de San Juan-Quero endorreic lagoons
Spain Tembleque-La Guardia plains
Spain Tablas de Daimiel marshes; 'Vicario' and 'Gasset' reservoirs and Malagón lakes
Spain Pedro Muñoz-Manjavacas endorreic lagoons
Spain Los Tollos lake
Spain Conde, Chinche and Honda lakes
France Lacs de la Forêt d'Orient
Albania Narta Lagoon
Albania Karavasta Lagoon
Romania Black Sea
Georgia Javakheti Plateau
Georgia Kolkheti
Armenia Armash fish-farm
Turkey Eşmekaya Marshes
Turkey Erçek Lake
Croatia Alluvial wetlands of the River Danube
Azerbaijan Lake Mahmudchala
Azerbaijan Lake Hajigabul
Azerbaijan Red Lake
Algeria Lac Oubeïra
Algeria Lac Tonga
Algeria Lac des Oiseaux / Garaet et Touyour
Algeria Marais de Mekhada
Algeria Complexe de zones humides de la plaine de Guerbes - Sanhadja
Tunisia Ichkeul
Tunisia Barrage Mlaâbi
Tunisia Barrage Mornaguia
Tunisia Barrage Sidi Abdelmonem
Tunisia Barrage Lebna
Tunisia Barrage Masri
Tunisia Sebkhet Kelbia
Tunisia Barrage El Houareb
Tunisia Sebkhet Sidi Mansour
Turkey Ulas Lake
Turkey Akkaya Reservoir
Turkey Lake Van
Turkey Bostankaya Lake
Turkey Sükümbet Lake
Turkey Kaz Lake
Turkey Hasan Lake
Afghanistan Hamun-i-Puzak
Afghanistan Kole Hashmat Khan
Israel Judean foothills
Israel Zevulun valley
Israel Jezre'el, Harod and Bet She'an valleys
Iraq Haur Al Hammar
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Kobi
Iran, Islamic Republic of Anzali Mordab complex
Iran, Islamic Republic of Akh Gol
Iran, Islamic Republic of Seyed Mohalli, Zarin Kola and Larim Sara
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lapoo - Zargmarz ab-bandans
Iran, Islamic Republic of Miankaleh Peninsula and Gorgan Bay
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Alagol, Lake Ulmagol and Lake Ajigol
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Zaribar
Iran, Islamic Republic of Gori Gol
Iran, Islamic Republic of Arjan Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Harm lake
Iran, Islamic Republic of Shur Gol, Yadegarlu and Dorgeh Sangi lakes
Iran, Islamic Republic of South end of the Hamoun-i Puzak
Iran, Islamic Republic of Hilleh Protected Area
Syria Bahrat Homs
Russia (European) Sarpinskaya lake-system
China (mainland) Tacheng (Qoqek) area
China (mainland) Ebi Nur and Kuytun River
China (mainland) Sayram Nur
China (mainland) Xekar Reservoir
Mongolia Uvs Lake
Mongolia Airag Lake
Mongolia Khar Us Lake
Mongolia Khar Lake
Mongolia Teshigiin Olon Lakes
Saudi Arabia Dawmat al-Jandl wetland
Pakistan Mehboob Shah Lake
Pakistan Ucchali Wetland Complex
Russia (Asian) Ulukhkol' lake
Russia (Asian) Oruku-Shina
India Harike Lake Bird Sanctuary
Russia (Central Asian) Makushinsky Zakaznik
Russia (Central Asian) System of lakes Kurlady-Selezjan-Atkul
Russia (Central Asian) Kurumbel'skaya steppe
Azerbaijan Gizilagach State Reserve
Russia (Central Asian) Baganskiye lakes
Russia (Central Asian) Uzkaya Steppe
Russia (Central Asian) Bykovo lake
Russia (Central Asian) Lakes of Tobolo-Ishimskaya forest-steppe
Russia (European) Adzhi Lake
Bulgaria Burgasko Lake
Bulgaria Durankulak Lake
Bulgaria Shabla Lake Complex
France Lac de Grand-Lieu
France Etang de Lindre
France Baie de Bourgneuf et marais breton
Kazakhstan Kyzylkol Lake
Kazakhstan Irgiz-Turgay Lakes
Kazakhstan Naurzum State Nature Reserve
Kazakhstan Kultansor and Tatysor Lakes
Kazakhstan Sorbulak Lake System
Kazakhstan Isei Lake
Russia (European) Lake Manych-Gudilo
Russia (Central Asian) Lake Kurlady 2
Russia (Central Asian) Blagoveschenskaya (Kulunda lake and vicinity)
Russia (Central Asian) Tulak lake
Russia (Central Asian) Kocherdyksky goose zakaznik
Russia (Central Asian) Lake system near Lotoshnoye village
Russia (Central Asian) Kurlady Lake
Afghanistan Ab-i-Istada
Iran, Islamic Republic of Gordeh Git and Mamiyand
Iran, Islamic Republic of Ghara Gheshlaq No-Hunting Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of South Caspian shore, from Astara to Gomishan
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bandar Kiashar lagoon and mouth of Sefid Rud
Iran, Islamic Republic of Incheh Borun lake and marshes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Bibishervan and Lake Eymar
Iran, Islamic Republic of Cheghakor marsh
Iran, Islamic Republic of Haft Barm
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Maharlu
Iraq Habbaniya Lake
Syria Tual al-'Abba
Syria Sabkhat al-Jabboul
Bulgaria Mandra-Poda complex
Kazakhstan Ili River Delta
Uzbekistan Aksay Lake and surrounding desert
Uzbekistan Zekry Lake
Uzbekistan Kagan Fish Farm
Uzbekistan Sudochye Lake
Uzbekistan Dengizkul Lake
Uzbekistan Tudakul and Kuymazar Reservoirs
Uzbekistan Zholdyrbas Lake
Uzbekistan Karakyr Lakes
Uzbekistan Dzheiran Ecocentre
Turkmenistan Turkmenbashy Bay
Turkmenistan South Cheleken Bay
Turkmenistan Khankhovuz
Turkmenistan Garagumderya
Turkmenistan Erajy
Turkmenistan Soltandag Lake
Turkmenistan Soltandag - Gyzylburun
Turkmenistan Taylak Lake
Turkmenistan Kelif Lakes
Turkmenistan Zeyit - Kelif
Turkmenistan Khanguyy
Turkmenistan Jarsay - Khangui
Turkmenistan Ayrakly – Garadzhaovlak
Turkmenistan Ketteshor - Ramankol
Turkmenistan Ekerem - Esenguly
Kazakhstan Irtysh-Karaganda Waterworks 10
Kazakhstan Shcherbakty Lakes
Kazakhstan Saumalkol Lake
Kazakhstan Karasuk
Kazakhstan Sarykopa Lake System
Kazakhstan Zharkol Lakes
Kazakhstan Ushkol Lake
Kazakhstan Koybagar-Tyuntyugur Lake System
Kazakhstan Shoshkaly Lake System
Russia (European) Kurnikov liman
Kazakhstan Telikol Lakes
Kazakhstan Amankaragay Forest
Turkmenistan Delili - Garajabatyr
Kazakhstan Kushum Lakes
Kazakhstan Sulukol Lake
Kazakhstan Uyalyshalkar Lake System
Kazakhstan Zhumay-Mayshukyr Lake System
Uzbekistan Northern shore of Aydarkul Lake
Kazakhstan Tounsor Hollow Lakes
Kazakhstan Sankebay Lakes
Kazakhstan Tentek River Delta
Kazakhstan Lake Alakol Islands
Turkey Karakuyu Marshes
Turkey Ulaş Lakes
Turkey Hafik Zara Hills
Turkey Ceyhan Delta
Turkey Karamık Marshes
Turkey Yedikır Reservoir
Russia (Central Asian) Saltosarayskoye lake
Turkey South Shore of Lake Van
Turkey Çimenova Lakes
Turkey Bendimahi Delta
Turkey Edremit Reedbeds
Turkey Dönemeç Delta
Turkey Van Plains
Turkey Kavuştuk Peninsula
Turkey Ziyaret Mountain and Ahlat Marshes
Kazakhstan Teniz-Karakamys Lakes
Kazakhstan Kulykol-Taldykol Lake System
Turkmenistan Gurtli
Romania Danube Delta
Romania Limanu - Herghelia
Romania Lake Taşaul
Mongolia Ulaagchinii Khar Lake
Mongolia Uvsiin Khar Lake
Kazakhstan Korgalzhyn State Nature Reserve
Kazakhstan Tassuat Lake
Kazakhstan Kumdykol-Zharlykol Lake System
Russia (Central Asian) Wetlands of Karasuk town
China (mainland) Desert and wetland from Northern Urumqi to Dabancheng
Uzbekistan Akpetky lakes and surrounding Aralkum Desert
Russia (Central Asian) Holes of the Karasuk river downstream
Russia (Central Asian) Baganskiye Lakes
China (mainland) Oasis, Desert and Wetland at Mosuowan
Uzbekistan Sarykamysh lake and surrounding Ustyurt Plateau
Uzbekistan Ayakaghytma lake and surrounding desert
Spain El Moro marshes
Spain Santa Pola salt-pans
Spain El Valle, Altaona and Escalona mountains
Spain La Almenara mountain range-Cape Cope
Spain Pétrola-Almansa-Yecla
Spain Campo de Calatrava
Spain Mountain range and saltpans at Cabo de Gata
Spain Mouth of the river Guadalhorce
Spain Cádiz bay
Spain Clot de Galvany
Spain Lagunas de Campotéjar
Spain Humedal del Ajauque y Rambla Salada
Cyprus Mia Milia Sewage Treatment Plant
Kazakhstan Batpakkol lake
Kazakhstan Russkiy Zharkol
Kazakhstan Salmanykol lake
Kazakhstan Russkiy Zharkol
Ukraine Tarkhankuts'kyj peninsula
Turkey Seyhan Delta
Tunisia Barrage Moussa Chami
Tunisia Barrage Bezikh
Tunisia Barrage Chiba
Tunisia Barrage Khairat
Tunisia Barrage Moussa
Tunisia Barrage Oued El Haajar
Tunisia Barrage Oued Rmal
Tunisia Barrage Sidi Jdidi
Iraq Hawizeh
Iraq Dalmaj Marsh
Spain Ontalafia Lagoon
Kazakhstan Kamysh-Samarskie Lakes
Spain Ontalafia lagoon
Tunisia Salines de Thyna
Turkey Akkaya Reservoir
Greece Lake Pamvotida (Ioannina)
Azerbaijan Krasnoye Lake and Absheron Waterbodies
Azerbaijan Alat Bay - Baku archipelago
Iran, Islamic Republic of Dasht-e-Moghan
Iran, Islamic Republic of Aras Dam Lake
Iran, Islamic Republic of Bojagh
Turkey Cali Lake
Russia (European) Islands in the western part of Lake Manych-Gudilo
Kazakhstan Ural River Valley
Kazakhstan Arkaly Mountains
Kazakhstan Karakol Lake
Morocco Canton Forestier de Sidi Bou Ghaba
Morocco Dwiyate
Algeria El Kala - Tarf
Algeria Dayet El Ferd
Tunisia Barrage El Ogla
Turkmenistan Chokrak-Tutly
Turkmenistan Sarygamysh
Turkmenistan Saryyazy
Turkmenistan Mergen
Tunisia Sebkhet Ariana
Syria Upper Orontes River and Homs Lake (Bahrat Homs)
Uzbekistan Talimardzhan Reservoir

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Salt Exploitation Sites suitable breeding
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes unset non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Marshes/Pools major breeding
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Very Rapid Declines High Impact: 8
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Biological resource use Gathering terrestrial plants - Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Oxyura jamaicensis Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Hybridisation, Competition
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use - Abstraction of ground water (unknown use) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Oxyura leucocephala. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/10/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/10/2020.