Distribution and Conservation of the Harlequin Duck, Histrionicus histrionicus, in Greenland


  • David Boertmann National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, P.O. Box 358, DK-4000 Roskilde




Harlequin Duck, Histrionicus histrionicus, Greenland, breeding status, winter status, conservation, threats, local use


The breeding range of the Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) in Greenland includes West Greenland to as far north as 72º 30’ N and a few sites in East Greenland. The breeding population is guessed at a few thousand pairs. During winter Harlequin Ducks occur along the West Greenland coast between Maniitsoq and Nanortalik. The size of the winter population is unknown. As Canadian males, which have moulted in Southwest Greenland, also winter there, perhaps accompanied by females and juveniles, the numbers may be considerable. The peak period for clutch initiation seems to be mid- to late June. There is no immediate conservation concern for the small breeding population of Harlequin Ducks in Greenland. However, there is a risk from marine oil spills along coasts where congregations of non-breeding Harlequin Ducks from both Greenland and eastern Canada occur.