Dabbling ducks (Anas ssp.) are cornerstone species in wetland bird communities and yet in many cases we lack sufficient data to judge the conservation status of the flyway population. In a first step to remedy this we here compile all available data on Mallard in the Nordic countries. We find increasing numbers of wintering Mallards and stable to increasing breeding populations. Data on breeding success is scarce but the available data show an increasing trend. In recent years the overall trend in hunting bag sizes is relatively stable even though there is some variation among countries. Thus all indicators suggest that the Nordic Mallard population is currently in good condition. However major knowledge gaps were identified with regard to release of hand-reared Mallards and the effect of short stopping for the trends observed locally. A detailed assessment of the effect of releases is urgently needed as well as an assessment of the role of short stopping in explaining current trends in winter population in certain parts of the European flyway.
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The XVth Nordic Congress of Wildlife Research, 2011