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Marmaronetta angustirostris

warning Endangered

Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot, Lior Kislev, Itay Shimshon

The Marbled Teal is classified as Endangered (EN) because of its small population size that is currently estimated at less than 250 adults. Along with its decline in Israel, drastic decreases were recorded in most of the Marbled Teal populations and it is now classified as globally Vulnerable (VU). In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), the species was classified as Critically Endangered (CR). The improvement in its status does not reflect a true change in the population, but a stabilization at around 60-100 adult birds, including the increase in the number of breeders in the Jezreel Valley and a corresponding decrease in the southern Golan Heights. A significant portion of the population breeds in operational reservoirs that are threatened by future plans to be enlarged and sealed with polyethylene sheeting and solar panels, which creates a severe threat to the future of the Marbled Teal in Israel.
EN Current Regional Assessment | CR Previous Regional Assessment | VU World Assessment

Habitats Wetland Thickets
Presence In Israel Winter Visitor, Resident
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Nomad, Resident
Zoography Zones Mediterranean
Landscape Formations Swamps, Wetlands, Freshwater Bodies
Vegetation Densities Medium
Nest Locations Ground, Wetland Thickets
Diet Types Invertebrate, Herbivore
Foraging Grounds Water
Body Sizes Small (up to 500g)
Threat Factors Wetland Drainage & Pollution

The Marbled Teal is a small, delicate duck, with a brown-grey plumage and whitish spots. It has a black eye mask and narrow black bill. In flight, it appears relatively uniform with a prominent eyespot and contrasting dark coverts and white primaries. It favors water reservoirs and marshes with developed bank vegetation that penetrates into the water.

A rare resident species in the Hula and Jezreel valleys and a rare winter visitor in northern Israel and the Judean Lowlands. In surveys conducted in the Northern Valleys in 2013-2014, 30 families were observed each year, distributed almost equally between the Hula and Jezreel valleys (Perlman & Haviv 2013, 2014).
In the late 19th century and in the first half of the 20th century the Marbled Teal was a relatively common breeder in the Hula Valley (the number of pairs was estimated at between 100 and 200). Apparently, it also nested in the Jordan and Bet She’an valleys (Paz 1986, Shirihai 1996). The population decreased drastically during the 1950s, following the drainage of the Hula Lake, and only a few pairs remained nesting in the Hula and a few pairs in the southern Golan Heights. In 1992, the breeding population in the Hula Valley was estimated at about 45 pairs, of which 25 were in the Hula Reserve and the remainder in the fishponds (Eyal Shy, Talia Oron). Surveys by the Israel Ornithological Center found 31 nesting pairs in 2013 (Perlman 2013) and 16 pairs in 2014 (Haviv 2014).

The Marbled Teal nests in marshy landscapes and in shallow water pools with dense bank vegetation. In winter it is seen in open water landscapes, fishponds and reservoirs in the Mediterranean region.

Habitat modification: Loss of freshwater habitats including fish ponds that have either been abandoned or cleared of all vegetation. Reservoirs being covered by polyethylene sheeting and solar panels.
Pollution of water bodies, both by agricultural waste and by pesticides, in particular those used for mosquito control.
Hunting – in winter, Marbled Teals inhabit reservoirs (some in areas open for hunting) along with other duck species and therefore it is exposed to the risk of hunting.

No specific conservation measures have been taken for this species to date. Although the Hula Nature Reserve tries to manage a portion of its marshes specifically for Marbled Teal.

The Marbled Teal is endangered in Israel and globally mainly because of wetland modification and destruction. Its population in Israel is very small, although in recent decades it has remained stable. The future of the species in Israel is dependent on the existence of reservoirs surrounded by bank thickets.

The main factor threatening the future of the Marbled Teal in Israel is the management methods of reservoirs, particularly the cutting of bank vegetation and plans for sealing the reservoirs with polyethylene and solar panels. The thickets surrounding the reservoirs in Marbled Teal breeding grounds should be preserved, as they are necessary for nesting. When work to renew and seal the reservoir is conducted, an alternative habitat that includes thickets in at least part of the reservoir embankment or near it should be created.

  • אורון, ט. וגיסיס, ג. 2005. סיכום סקר קינון ברווזים משויישים בעמק החולה (2003-2004). העזניה 33, הוצאת טבע הדברים והחברה להגנת הטבע.
  • ארצי, י., אורון, ט. וגיסיס, ג. 2015. קינון ברווז משוייש בעמק החולה: סיכום עונת קינון 2015. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים.
  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
  • פרלמן, י. 2013. ברווזים נדירים דוגרים בישראל סיכום ניטור קיץ 2013. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים והחברה להגנת הטבע.
  • פרלמן, י. וחביב, א. 2014. ברווזים נדירים דוגרים בישראל סיכום ניטור קיץ 2014. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים והחברה להגנת הטבע.
Contributed: Asaf Mayrose, Avner Rinot, Lior Kislev, Itay Shimshon

Current Occupancy Map

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Occupancy difference 1990-2020

A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.

Relative abundance difference 1990-2020

A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.

Red number

IUCN category

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% of protected sites

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