Economic Uses

Comments: In recent decades, annual harvest in eastern North America averaged 22,500 (58% in eastern Canada) (Kehoe 1994).

Global Protection: Unknown whether any occurrences are appropriately protected and managed

Comments: No data available.

Biological Research Needs: More information is needed on basic biology (Kehoe 1994).

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species, although it receives monitoring in parts of its range and occurs in some protected areas.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Improve monitoring surveys in order to obtain reliable baseline data and monitor future trends. Assess the significance of various threats. Tighten controls on marine pollution. Increase the area of suitable habitat that receives protection.

Degree of Threat: Low

Comments: Hydroelectric projects in Quebec and Labrador have had localized impacts on breeding habitat, but effects on the continental population probably have been small; urbanization and industrialization of many coastal bays and estuaries have degraded some winter habitat; chemical contamination and heavy metal accumulation of winter food supplies possibly may be affecting reproductive success of some populations (Kehoe 1994). Vulnerable to overharvest through hunting (Kehoe 1994).


Major Threats

Global Short Term Trend: Decline of 10-30%

Comments: For the period 1984-1994, estimated to be "declining in NW North America; possibly stable in Russia" (Goudie et al. 1994). However, available population data are generally inadequate for reliable determination of population trend (Kehoe 1994).

Global Long Term Trend: Relatively stable to decline of 50%



The total population is estimated to number c.530,000-830,000 individuals (Delany and Scott 2006), probably including c.350,000-560,000 mature individuals, on the basis that they probably account for around 2/3 of the population.

Population Trend


NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Reasons: Large global population with very large and widely dispersed continental subpopulations, fairly low degree of threat, particularly on breeding grounds.

National NatureServe Conservation Status


Rounded National Status Rank: N5B,N4N : N5B: Secure - Breeding, N4N: Apparently Secure - Nonbreeding

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5B,N5N : N5B: Secure - Breeding, N5N: Secure - Nonbreeding


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