The species is threatened by wetland habitat loss on its breeding and wintering grounds5. Reclamation of coastal areas for industrial development poses a threat in Europe, and major river diversion and irrigation schemes threaten wintering areas in Niger and Nigeria5. The species is also threatened by petroleum pollution, wetland drainage, peat-extraction, changing wetland management practices (decreased grazing and mowing in meadows leading to scrub over-growth) and the burning and mowing of reeds in Russia11. The species suffers from over-exploitation in Europe2, and is hunted for sport in North America9, 10. It also suffers poisoning from lead shot ingestion in North America9, poisoning from white phosphorous (from firearms) ingestion in Alaska18, and reproductive impairment as a result of selenium (Se) accumulation in liver tissues (selenium contained in sub-surface agricultural drain-water used for wetland management in California led to bioaccumulation of the element in the food chain21. The pecies is predated by feral cats Felis catus and rats Rattus norvegicus on islands1, and is susceptible to avian botulism12 and avian influenza13, 17 so may be threatened by future outbreaks of these diseases. Utilisation The species is hunted recreationally in Denmark14 and the Po delta, Italy15, and is hunted commercially and recreationally in Iran16. The eggs of this species used to be (and possibly still are) harvested in Iceland19. The species is also traded at traditional medicine markets in Nigeria20.
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