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Australian Shoveler

Scientific Classification

Common Name
Australian shoveler
Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Anseriformes
Family
Anatidae
Genus Species
Anas (duck) rhynchotis rhynchotis (resembling a bill; refers to spatulate bill)

Fast Facts

Description
This duck has a long, spatulate bill and whitish crescent shaped patches in the area between the bill and eyes
Size
46 to 56 cm (18.4 to 22.4 in.)
Weight
272 to 480 g (9.5 to 16.8 oz.)
Diet
Herbs, grasses, pondweeds, wigeon grass, eelgrass, and algae
Incubation
25 to 26 days
Clutch Size
7 to 8 eggs
Fledging Duration
40 to 45 days
Sexual Maturity
1 to 2 years
Life Span
Averages 20 to 30 years
Range
Southwestern and southeastern Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand
Habitat
Found in or near shallow lakes and pools with dense reed beds, marshes and lagoons
Population
Global: Unknown
Regional: Populations remain at 100,000–150,000 individuals in New Zealand
Status 
IUCN: Not listed
CITES: Not listed
USFWS:  Not listed

Fun Facts

These ducks sift the surface of the water filtering out small animals and plants through their bill. Lamellae, which are a series of tiny vertical slits, are found along the upper and lower sides of the bill.

Males are called drakes, females are hens, and young are ducklings.


Ecology and Conservation

Over 60% of this species lives in areas open to hunting. In 1987, the bag limit was reduced to two percent in order to stabilize the populations. These efforts seem successful, with roughly 30,000 hunted each year in New Zealand.


Bibliography

Austin, G. Birds of The World. New York. Golden Press, Inc., 1961.

Gotch, A.F. Birds - Their Latin Names Explained. UK. Blandford Books Ltd., 1981.

Johnsgard, P. Ducks, Geese, and Swans of the World. Lincoln. Univ. Of Neb. Press, 1978.

Scott, P. A Coloured Key of the Wildfowl of the World. Slimbridge, England. The Wildfowl Trust. 1988.

Todd, F.S. Natural History of Waterfowl. San Diego, Ca. Ibis Publishing Co., 1996.