Relatively low numbers of Harlequin Ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) are present year-round in Newfoundland, with breeding, molting and wintering at specific areas. Breeding is largely restricted to the Great Northern Peninsula, but there is some evidence of breeding in remote areas of the eastern part of the island. A large molting concentration is present on the Grey Islands, east of the Northern Peninsula. Harlequin Ducks winter on the south coast of Newfoundland, with the largest concentration at Cape St. Mary's. Counts from Cape St. Mary's indicated Harlequin Ducks decreased through the 1980s, but have been increasing rapidly since the early 1990s. Although anecdotal, information from early sources suggests populations of Harlequin Ducks in Newfoundland are much reduced. Chronic oiling and misidentification of Harlequin Ducks by hunters remain as threats, while forestry and hydroelectric development may be potential sources of habitat reduction.
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Vol. 31 • No. sp2