Harteman Wildfowl, presented by Jan Harteman

Eaton's pintail

Anas eatoni

Eaton's pijlstaart / Kerguelenente / Canard d' Eatoni

 

The Eaton's pintail (Anas eatoni) is a dabbling duck of the genus Anas. It is also known as the southern pintail. The species is restricted (endemic) to the island groups of Kerguelen and Crozet in the southern Indian Ocean. It resembles a small female northern pintail or male in eclipse plumage. It was named after the English explorer and naturalist Alfred Edmund Eaton. It is threatened by introduced species, particularly feral cats, which prey on it.

 

Subspecies and Distribution

  • A. e. eatoni (Sharpe, 1875) – Kerguelen I; introduced to St Paul I and Amsterdam I, but probably now extirpated.
  • A. e. drygalskii Reichenow, 1904 – Crozet Is.

Inhabits small freshwater lakes, as well as pools, marshes, peatbogs and streams. Both nominate and drygalskii mainly frequent sheltered coastal bays in winter.

 

Currently estimated joint population of 31,200–41,400 mature individuals that is thought to be in decline. In Crozet Is, subspecies drygalskii estimated at 1350 birds (800 on Est I) in 1980–1982, rare on some islands due to introduction of cats and rats last century. Nominate eatoni distributed throughout Kerguelen I and outlying islands, but only abundant in lowlands, estimated 5000–10,000 pairs in 1982–1985, suffering annual losses of 200–300 through hunting by sealers and scientific expeditions; today, introduced predators are greatest threat on Possession, Cochons Island (Crozet) and Kerguelen Is, where feral cats may prove to be serious threat in near future if petrels, their staple prey, reach low sufficiently levels. Failed to become established on Amsterdam I, where introduced but not seen since 1970, due to predation by cats and rats (Rattus norvegicus); at present, population appears stable.

 

The species is not kept in avicultural collections, nor in zoological collections. 

 

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Above: Anas eatoni drygalskii from the Crozet Archipelego. Photo copyright (2012), with permission, by Regis Perdriat

 

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Above: Anas eatoni drygalskifrom the Crozet Archipelego. Photo copyright (2012), with permission, by Regis Perdriat

 

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Above: Anas eatoni eatoni from the Kerguelen Island. Photo copyright (2008), with permission, by Regis Perdriat

 

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Above: Anas eatoni eatoni from the Kerguelen Island. Photo copyright (2008), with permission, by Regis Perdriat

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