Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea Pall.) in the 19th century and in the beginning of 20th century was a common breeding species for the Azov-Black Sea coast, mainly for Obitochnaya spit and Sivash (Radde, 1845; Kostyuchenko, 1927). But in the first half of 20th century the species number has greatly decreased, and now Ruddy Shelduck is a rare breeding bird.
In Zaporizhzhya region observations of Ruddy Shelduck during its breeding period are quite rare. Over the last 14 years the reliable breeding cases in nature are unknown.
In 2002 carrying out the IBA programme in Vasilyevka district we have counted 5 pairs of Ruddy Shelduck. Breeding has been proved for four of them.
One of the nests was situated under the MTF roof at the outskirts of the village. Inquiry data showed that Ruddy Shelducks had been reliably nesting there since 1999. In 2001 and 2002 the farm workers saw a duck with its ducklings.
Two pairs nested in precipitous banks of the Kakhovskoe storage lake. Description of breeding habitats is given for all three pairs.
The origin of this Ruddy Shelduck group we connect with two semi-wild populations: in Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve and in the experimental Zoological Park at AO “AvtoZAZ” (the village of Ternovatoe, Novonikolaev region).
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