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Towards the European eradication of the North American ruddy duck

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Aileen MillORCiD, Dr Graham Smith


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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.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Robertson PA, Adriaens T, Caizergues A, Cranswick PA, Devos K, Gutiérrez-Expósio A, Henderson I, Hughes B, Mill AC, Smith GC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biological Invasions

Year: 2015

Volume: 17

Issue: 1

Pages: 9-12

Print publication date: 01/01/2015

Online publication date: 25/06/2014

Acceptance date: 21/04/2014

ISSN (print): 1387-3547

ISSN (electronic): 1573-1464

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s10530-014-0704-3


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