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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Brazilian Merganser Mergus octosetaceus

Ivana R. Lamas and Líiva V. Lins
Version: 1.0 — Published April 28, 2009

Priorities for Future Research


The scarcity of information on the Brazilian Merganser’s biology and behavior makes it difficult to make decisions affecting the conservation and management of this species. Studies on reproduction, feeding behavior, territories, intra- and interspecific interactions, and environmental factors affecting the species must be encouraged. Research involving the marking of individuals, preferably with the use of radio transmitters, for confirmation of the home range, and daily and seasonal movements, is essential to accurate estimates of the size and dynamics of the populations.

The projects on marking-monitoring using radio-transmitters recently started by Instituto Terra Brasilis in Serra da Canastra, and by Funatura in Chapada dos Veadeiros, will bring important data for the Brazilian Merganser conservation.

All the important actions for conservation of the Brazilian Merganser, based on our current knowledge, are described in the Action Plan for the Conservation of the Brazilian Merganser. This publication must be consulted by anyone who intends to work with this species (there are versions in Portuguese and English – Hughes et al. 2006a; Hughes et al. 2006b). This Action Plan is the third number of the Threatened Species Series created by the Brazilian Environmental Agency (Ibama) for contributing to the protection and conservation of the Brazilian threatened fauna. Series of priority recommendations are listed under five themes: fiscalization and legislation; species and habitat protection; monitoring and research; public awareness and capacity building; and international collaboration and communication.

Some of these recommendation have undoubted and immeasurable importance and urgency. Their application must be evaluated in each of the Brazilian Merganser´s areas of occurrence, considering the specific aspects of threat, politics, strategies, opportunities, and so on.

It is also vital to promote an awareness-raising campaign on the importance of this species among people who live in the areas where it occurs. Most inhabitants of these areas do not know the Brazilian Merganser. Revealing the importance of the species to the community, and demonstrating that its presence in the region is a valuable feature and something to be proud of, could get people involved and committed in the search for, and application of, beneficial actions for its conservation.

In September 2007, an Information Centre was opened in São Roque de Minas, a town in the region of Serra da Canastra, coordinated by the Instituto Terra Brasilis. The purpose of this Centre is to exchange and disseminate socio-environmental information and consolidate the Brazilian Merganser as the symbol for the ecosystem conservation in that region. The Centre has been very successful; more than 3,000 people have taken part in its activities, which include presentations, workshops, contests, movies and games. Some local schools have included a visit to the Centre in their regular activities.

The conservation of the species necessarily depends on measures involving the recuperation and conservation of riparian forests, watercourses, and their springs and banks. Thus, besides the benefits for the conservation of Brazilian Merganser itself, those measures would be geared towards the rescue of fundamental values of land use and environmental conservation.

Recommended Citation

Lamas, I. R. and L. V. Lins (2009). Brazilian Merganser (Mergus octosetaceus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.bramer1.01