Wanted: Harlequin Duck sightings in Salmo River Watershed

Photo: iStock, P. Williams

Wanted: Harlequin Duck sightings in Salmo River Watershed

Please report sightings of  Harlequins Ducks in the Salmo River Watershed from May to July, 2019 to:

Marlene Machmer at mmachmer@netidea.com or 250-505-9978

Harlequin Ducks are striking sea ducks that overwinter on the coast and migrate to the interior to breed. Their ability to swim in turbulent white water, where they dip and dive for aquatic insects, is unmatched. For breeding, they select undisturbed, fast-moving portions of rivers and streams with dense riparian vegetation. Females return to their natal streams, typically mate for life and return to the same breeding areas, unless the sites become degraded or disturbed. Harlequin Ducks are sensitive indicators of healthy freshwater ecosystems.

A 1996 inventory of Harlequins conducted in the Salmo River watershed documented a significant breeding population (54 adults: 33 males and 21 females). Since then, several changes have occurred in the watershed, and an FWCP survey in 1999 began to document population declines. A 2009 re-survey confirmed a 22% decline in the adult population. Additional stressors have emerged —most notably a March 2019 fuel spill in the South Salmo River — which further threaten this population.

Pandion Ecological Research Ltd., in collaboration with Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society, is repeating a Harlequin pair and brood inventory from May to July 2019, along with stewardship follow-up at specific sites.

Information and sightings are actively being sought from the public to assist in focusing inventory and stewardship attention on active sites, and in detecting oiled birds. Please share your sightings of Harlequin Ducks in the Salmo River watershed

This inventory and stewardship of Salmo River watershed Harlequin Ducks is funded by the Fish & Wildlife Compensation Program. Read more








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