Summary Status Overview and Recommendations for Conservation of the White-Headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala in Central Asia The White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala is the only stifftail (Oxyurini) indigenous to the Palearctic. It is restricted to a small area of Central Eurasia and North Africa and currently has the distinction of being “endangered”. The global population has decreased from over 100,000 individuals in the early twentieth century to 8,000-13,000 individuals in 2002. The publication presents the current status of the White-headed Duck in the 12 countries of the Central Asian region, namely Afghanistan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia (Asian part only), Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The principal threats to the species and its wetland habitats have been identified and priority actions have been recommended. It is evident that the main focus of action should be to conserve the wetlands on which this and many other waterbird species are dependent. The main recommendations include: Review of national policy and legislation to ensure adequate legal protection for the White-headed Duck and its enforcement. Sustainable management of water resources to ensure adequate allocation of water. Site conservation measures, such as, establishment of an international network of sites of importance for migratory waterbirds. Development of a flyway-wide project to build and strengthen links between wetland managers and organisations. Development of a comprehensive population-monitoring programme covering the wintering, migratory and breeding seasons. Research to define the migration routes and population boundaries of the White-headed Duck.
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