Salvadoris Teal (Salvadorina waigiuensis)

Salvadoris Teal

[order] ANSERIFORMES | [family] Anatidae | [latin] Salvadorina waigiuensis | [authority] Rothschild and Hartert, 1894 | [UK] Salvadoris Teal | [FR] Canard de Salvadori | [DE] Salvadoriente | [ES] Canard de Salvadori | [NL] Salvadori eend


Monotypic species


The Salvadori’s Teal or Salvadori’s Duck (Salvadorina waigiuensis) is a species of bird native to New Guinea. It is placed in the monotypic genus Salvadorina. Initially, it was believed to belong to the “perching ducks”, a paraphyletic assemblage of species which generally fell between dabbling ducks and shelducks. With the breaking-up of the “perching ducks”, it was rather provisionally placed in the dabbling duck genus Anas. It was then reinstated in its own genus and moved to the shelduck subfamily Tadorninae, which also contains the Torrent Duck and Blue Duck which convergently have evolved adaptations to mountain stream habitat. All or some of these species may actually be surviving lineages of an ancient Gondwanan radiation of waterfowl

Physical charateristics

Small duck of montane rivers and lakes. Dark brown head. Body barred and spotted dark brown and off-white. Yellow bill. Orange legs. None of the many species of duck recorded in New Guinea have a yellow bill and uniform chocolate head or a barred body. Whistling-ducks, usually found in the lowlands, combine rather plain heads with pale spots or stripes on the flanks and Australian White-eyed Duck Aythya australis has uniformly plain brown plumage.

Listen to the sound of Salvadoris Teal

[audio: Teal.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

recorded by Frank Lambert

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 38 cm size max.: 43 cm
incubation min.: 27 days incubation max.: 30 days
fledging min.: 60 days fledging max.: 65 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 4  


Australasia : New Guinea. Salvadorina waigiuensis is endemic to the mountains of New Guinea (Papua, formerly Irian Jaya, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea).


Although recorded from 70-4,100 m, this duck is uncommon below 600 m and most common at the highest altitudes. It breeds beside fast-flowing rivers and streams, and alpine lakes, and has also been recorded on slow-flowing rivers. It is not sociable, and one rarely encounters anything beside single adults or pairs. Breeding territories are variable in size owing to local conditions, for instance pairs have been found to occupy 1,600 m of stream on the Baiyer River but only 160 m on the Ok Menga River. The species uses small tributary streams as well as main river channels, a factor which may contribute to its perceived rarity.


Extended breeding season from April to October, possibly to January. Due to the ength of the breeding period it might be double-brooded. The nest is built close to water, on or near the ground, in covering vegetation, sometimes on boulders. Incubation period of the 3-4 eggs around 28 days solely by female. Fledging unknown but probably at least 60 days. Nest as solitary pairs.
Both parents tend ducklings, females might carry ducklings on their backs.

Feeding habits

It is an omnivore and reported to be mainly nocturnal. Diet consists of aquatic invertebrates (mainly insect larvae), possibly small fish, tadpoles. Forages by diving in streams, remaining underwater for 30 seconds or more.

Video Salvadoris Teal


copyright: Josep del Hoyo


This species is widespread, from the low foothills where tumbling rivers spill out of the mountains, to the highest alpine tarns; nonetheless, it occurs in small numbers wherever it occurs, and its specialized habitat requirement ensure that its global population will remain small. It may be declining through hunting and habitat degradation and therefore qualifies as Vulnerable, although further information may show that it is less threatened than currently thought.
It is rare and local at lower altitudes, there are records at 70 m in Lakekamu Basin, but it occurs across the island in suitable montane habitat. There are recent records from few locations, a consequence of the inaccessibility of most of its range and the species’s unobtrusive, shy and perhaps nocturnal habits. The population has been variously estimated to be 2,500-20,000 birds and stable or slowly declining. Some local extirpations and declines have been attributed to hunting, predation by dogs, and habitat degradation, largely through increasing human pressure and siltation, especially from hydroelectric projects, mining and logging, but these have only impacted small areas. The stocking of alpine rivers with exotic trout species has been suggested as a potential risk to food sources.
Salvadoris Teal status Vulnerable


Sedentary, not known outside range.

Distribution map

Salvadoris Teal distribution range map

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