Brazilian Merganser

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Often mistaken for a pigeon or a duck, the Brazilian Merganser is usually found within the country of Brazil although a few of them are located in Argentina. Because of farming and mining activities that have interrupted the ecological balance, this merganser’s population has declined to about 250.

Recent records from Brazil indicate that this species’s status may be marginally better than previously thought. Nevertheless, the remaining known population is still extremely small and fragmented, and the perturbation, damming and pollution of rivers are likely to be causing continuing declines. For these reasons, it is listed as Critically Endangered. Further information on the population size (in particular whether it exceeds 250 mature individuals) and on the subpopulation structure may result in its downlisting to Endangered in the future.

49-56 cm. Dark, slender duck with long crest. Dark hood with petroleum-green sheen. Pale grey breast finely vermiculated dark, paler towards whitish belly. Dark grey upperparts. White wing speculum. Long, dark saw-bill. Pinky-lilac legs. Long, bushy hindcrest usually worn and shorter in females. Similar spp. Neotropic Cormorant Phalacrocorax brasilianus is larger and darker with hooked bill. Voice Harsh and dry jrrec contact call. Also louder nasal juac calls. Hints Hides under overhanging vegetation.


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