The White-headed Duck survey in Pakistan in 2002 was organised by Wetlands International’s Asian Regional Office in Malaysia. The survey is funded by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) under the project Status Overview and Recommendations for the White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala) in Central Asia.
The White-headed Duck is a globally endangered species identified by IUCN. The south Asian non-breeding population (mainly winter in Pakistan) is facing a steep decline. The maximum of 1,039 birds was recorded in January 1968. In January 1983 and 1987, 734 and 733 birds were counted respectively. Between 1992 and 1994, however, only about 150 White-headed Ducks were recorded. The number of birds rapidly declined after 1995. During the 1995-1998 period as few as 50 birds were recorded every year. The number has dropped until 10 in 2001. Peak counts at the Ucchali complex were very low. During the survey undertaken by Dr. A. A. Chaudhry and his colleagues of the Punjab Wildlife Research Institute, only 5 birds were counted in January 2002. This number was further reduced to 3 in February.
The report analyses the known threats to the White-headed Duck. The loss and modification of its habitat are identified as one of the main threats to this bird. Recommendations have been proposed to promote the conservation of this small population
White-headed Duck Survey in Pakistan: 2002download