Ruddy ducks were brought to the UK in the 1940s and have made this their home. * This map is intended as a guide. Du… Difficult as it is, our position is based on lengthy and careful consideration of the detailed scientific research carried out into this issue. In order to protect the endangered White-headed Duck, the EU Invasive Alien Species (IAS) regulation (1143/214) came into force on 1 January 2015. If ruddy ducks became established here and spread eastwards, control would be impossible due to lack of infrastructure and resources. The results showed that eradication could only be achieved through a carefully controlled programme of shooting. Most breed in Russia and Kazakhstan, and winter in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey and Asia. As ruddy ducks are more promiscuous in their mating behaviour, the likely result would be a population comprising increasing numbers of hybrids showing fewer characteristics of the white-headed duck, until the species disappears. It is American, oversexed and over here, but the days of the ruddy duck in the UK are finally numbered, with the latest culling data revealing that just 10 females remain. The Spanish authorities make every effort to remove ruddy ducks and hybrids, but this task would become increasingly difficult if numbers increased. Heathland home to more than 2565 species. Ruddy ducks were brought to the UK in the 1930s and 1940s for captive wildfowl collections. 207076, Scotland no. This has been seen in New Zealand where the introduction of mallards has resulted in the catastrophic decline of the native grey duck due to hybridisation. There have been more than 900 records of some 1,500 ruddy ducks in 21 European and North African countries. Built in the 17th century the Ruddy Duck is situated in the quiet picturesque village of Peakirk, near Peterborough. The Central Science Laboratory (now the Food and Environment Research Agency), under contract to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, assessed the feasibility of eradicating ruddy ducks from the UK. The UK's ruddy ducks are concentrated in the West Midlands, northern England, Anglesey and southern Scotland, where they can be seen on large lakes and reservoirs. Their offspring were said to be ‘impure hybrids’, and this sealed their fate. If you can’t get outside, why not bring the outside in by downloading our bird song radio app? SC037654, We use cookies on our website to help give you the best online experience. Tell me more, Who to contact if you spot an injured or baby bird, Help nature thrive as a corporate partner, Climate change effects on nature and wildlife, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Escapees first bred in the wild in 1952, and by 2000 the UK population numbered 6,000 birds. Get out, get busy and get wild! As well as a free gift and magazines, you’ll get loads of ideas for activities to try at home. The species is globally threatened with extinction. The RSPB welcomes the European Commission’s support for efforts to eradicate ruddy ducks from the UK. Find out more about the partnership, © The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. It is a large rusty orangey brown duck, 64cm in length and with a wingspan of 133cm. It is illegal to trade ruddy ducks in the UK without a licence, and further restrictions on keeping will be sought to prevent any future escape. There is a small resident population in Spain. It is a traditional English pub with a warm friendly atmosphere and we offer homemade food served in our cosy bar, one of our two restaurants or alfresco style on our patio terrace. They would not have made it here, however, without the help of humans. Sadly it has been a case of over-sexed and over here. The white-headed duck is a symbol of successful conservation in Spain, in the same way the red kite is in the UK. Few birds have led to such contoversy in the UK as the (North American) Ruddy Duck. Escapees first bred in the wild in 1952, and by 2000 the UK population numbered 6,000 birds. Find out how to identify a bird just from the sound of its singing with our bird song identifier playlist. By the year 2000, the population had increased to around 6,000 individuals. Great ideas on how your garden, or even a small backyard or balcony, can become a mini nature reserve. Ruddy Duck is a North American duck which was unintentionally introduced to Britain in the 1940s. Ruddy Duck is a North American duck which was unintentionally introduced to Britain in the 1940s. A small number escaped from captivity and formed a feral population which by January 2005 numbered around 4,400. Registered charity number 263156. The UK supports the largest population of wild-living ruddy ducks in Europe and it is therefore vital that action is taken to remove the source of birds reaching the continent. FRIDAY TAKEAWAY Every Friday we will be doing a Takeaway Menu, changing weekly – first up is our delicious woodfired pizzas with a selection of tempting sides. Hunting and habitat loss have been the main causes. They would not have made it here, however, without the help of humans. International conservation organisations and European governments believe hybridisation poses a very serious threat to the survival of the white-headed duck. If it was to disappear then a key argument used in achieving protection of wetland habitats and control of hunting would vanish. Alien Species in Britain: Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) The Ruddy Shelduck originates from Southern Europe, North Africa and South and Central Asia (with some populations wintering in South East Asia). VIEW MENU. Catch up with the RSPB’s own nature detectives on the case as they look to save some very special places. The (North American) Ruddy Duck cannot be imported, kept, bred, transported, sold or exchanged, allowed to reproduce, or released into the environment in Europe. Taking this action will help secure the future of the white-headed duck, while the ruddy duck will continue to thrive in its native North America. This duck's aggressive courting behavior and willingness to interbreed with the endangered native white-headed duck(Oxyura leucocephala), of southern Europe, caused concern amongst Spanish conservationists. Feral UK Ruddy Duck numbers are now tiny, perhaps only just into double figures, yet any mention of the locations of these surviving individuals still prompts angry words on social media, while many bird sightings pages simply keep their heads down by not publishing any reports. Our website content is available for all to use, but of course running our site has costs. It's small, chestnut-brown and American, bobs around on lakes and ponds and has bred happily in Britain for 60 years. Habitat loss, degradation and hunting continue to pose a major threat to the white-headed duck and it is important to find solutions to these problems. This could have serious consequences for these wetlands, their flora and fauna and for future conservation initiatives. Nature is an adventure waiting to be had. Our shop is full to the brim with beautiful fresh fruit and veg, the finest meats and so much more. In contrast to the ruddy duck in North America, numbers have declined severely over the last century, from 100,000 birds to fewer than 10,000. A five-year eradication project managed by FERA began in 2005, which by March 2008 had reduced the UK’s population of ruddy ducks to 400-500 birds. Ruddy ducks were first seen in Spain in 1983, with around 20 birds occurring annually. We are faced with a stark choice - either we act to stop ruddy ducks spreading from the UK, or we stand by and watch as the white-headed duck is pushed ever closer to extinction. This is happening in Spain and there is a real danger that if the number of ruddy ducks arriving in Spain were allowed to increase, they would inundate the white-headed duck population. Find out more about the nature and wildlife outside your window. A Duck Roast with no washing up…perfect. Ruddy ducks have also been recorded in Turkey – the wintering grounds of the central Asian population of white-headed ducks. However, failure to tackle the spread of ruddy ducks in Europe could condemn the white-headed duck to global extinction. As a result of escapes from wildfowl collections in the late 1950s, they became established in Great Britain, from where they spread into Europe. However, reports of this little duck reaching Spain and mating with the rare white-headed duck caused outrage amongst certain bird groups. Click & collect through our online shop… SHOP ONLINE. Ruddy ducks are native to North America and, like white-headed ducks, are a member of the stifftail family. In the early 1990s Ruddy Duck, thought to originate from Britain in most cases, began to appear in Spain where they hybridised with the native White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala, which is globally threatened. Ruddy Duck eradication makes us sad, but it is the right and proper thing to do to save the White-headed Duck from extinction. See our toolkit for ways to campaign with us to protect nature and save wildlife. As numbers of ruddy ducks increased in the UK, greater numbers were recorded in continental Europe. This confirmed that eradication from Britain was feasible and it was determined as necessary to ensure the survival of White-headed Duck in Europe. It’s nesting season for our waterfowl too but what are the rules you need to follow for ducks, geese or swans? This fantastic wetland site is located north of Southport town centre and has some of the best wildlife in the region. But bird lovers hoping to see the ruddy duck in … We commend the high priority for action the UK Government is giving this issue and are facilitating the eradication project where possible. The history of ruddy ducks in the UK Ruddy ducks were brought to the UK in the 1930s and 1940s for captive wildfowl collections. See our ideas to keep you connected to nature during coronavirus, From our regular emails to your favourite social media, there’s more than one way to keep in touch with nature. We spend 90% of net income on conservation, public education and advocacy, The RSPB is a member of BirdLife International. The reserve has seen more than thirty species of wading birds. The programme began in September 2005, and initially ran until August 2010. Ruddy ducks interbreed with white-headed ducks, producing fertile hybrids. In 2003, the government decided to proceed with an eradication programme as part of a package of measures to help safeguard the white-headed duck. We hope you will join the Association, you can do that HERE. In the UK, eradication in the wild is almost complete, France have just started a LIFE project to eradicate Ruddy Ducks, and there are relatively few now remaining in Belgium and the Netherlands. Brim-full of character, hardy and easy on the eye, this species is one which is (or should be) disappearing from avaiculture in Europe. Following the floods this winter, watch how one area is using nature as a natural protector. THE SHOP. In Spain, a recovery programme to protect and manage breeding sites and a ban on hunting has enabled the Spanish population to recover from just 22 birds in 1977 to 2,500 birds. VIEW MENU. Ruddy ducks were imported into the UK in 1948 by conservationist Sir Peter Scott. 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