Habitat: Temporary wetlands, favoring brackish waters rich in emergent vegetation.
Range: Fragmented distribution; eastern and western Mediterranean, western and southern Asia, north and sub-Saharan west Africa, Iran, Pakistan and northwest India.
Natural Diet: Aquatic plants (seeds, roots, tubers, green parts); also aquatic insects, larvae, mollusks, worms.
Status in the Wild: Vulnerable
The Marbled teal is a medium-sized duck that is included among the diving ducks. The adult birds have sandy-brown colored feathers. They are 15 to 17 inches long. They have dark brown eye patches and a dark bill. This species is gregarious evening during breeding season when flocks of teal build nests close to one another. They feed in shallow water diving occasionally to forage. Females lay 7 to 10 eggs in a clutch.
Conservation: It has been recorded that 50% of their habitat may have been destroyed in the 20th Century. Hydrological work is known to have had a detrimental effect on several breeding sites in their distibutional range. Marbled teal population numbers have also depleted due to illegal hunting.