Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis) ecology: insights from the Russian literature. Part 1: Asian part of the Russian breeding range

  • Vasiliy Sokolov
  • Sandra Vardeh
  • Petra QuillfeldtEmail author


Long-tailed Ducks (Clangula hyemalis) nest in tundra habitats and are marine birds outside of the breeding season. These sea ducks are subject to negative impacts and threats throughout their annual cycle, and the population wintering in the Baltic Sea has declined dramatically in recent decades. To understand their life history and the drivers of population decreases, the ecology of Long-tailed Ducks needs to be understood in their breeding and wintering habitats. Most of the birds wintering in the Baltic Sea breed in northern Russia. Here, we reviewed the Russian literature on the Long-tailed Duck in the Asian part of the Russian breeding range (from Yamal to North East), with respect to their distribution, density, breeding and feeding biology. We summarized information from 74 Russian sources, with a strong representation of field surveys and ecological studies in the 1970s and 1980s. The data show a comparable overall breeding biology and timing within the area and compared to the European part of the breeding range. Considerable differences in the densities between sites and years were observed, but the underlying drivers of these differences are not yet understood. Overall, the proportions of non-breeding birds were high in most reports, but further studies are needed to understand the potential impact of changes in the breeding habitat on population trends. The data summarized here provide a comprehensive database for carrying out repeat surveys and ecological studies to improve understanding of population trends and their underlying ecological basis.


Arctic Clangula hyemalis Long-tailed Duck Russia 



Funding for this review was granted from the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN), award MEERESENTEN (3516821500). For VS, the study was performed within the framework of a state contract with the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology, Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences and Ural Branch of RAS program (Project No. 19-9-4-22). We thank all project partners, especially Jochen Bellebaum and Helmut Kruckenberg, who initiated the project, as well as Jenn Greiner for her speedy review of the manuscript language and Olga Pokrovskaya for help with locating elusive geographic places.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of SciencesEkaterinburgRussia
  2. 2.Department of Animal Ecology & SystematicsJustus Liebig University GiessenGiessenGermany

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