Facts about this animal
The European eider is the largest of the eider group with a body-weight of about 2.2 to 2.3 kg in males and 2.1 to 2.2 kg in females.
The eider tends to colonial breeding. Nest sites are variable and may be located in tern colonies. The nests are heavily lined with down. 3 to 6 dark olive-green eggs are laid, which are incubated by the female alone for 26-27 days.
Did you know?
that eider down, or eiderdown, is exceptionally soft and has insulating properties superior to any other down? The female eider duck plucks down from her breast to line her nest and cover the eggs. Once the nest is abandoned, the eiderdown is gathered. In Iceland, the birds are not disturbed, and are actually attracted to safe areas by the farmers who supply food and protect them. This relationship between wild eider duck and farmer has existed for generations and helps insure the continued existence of a beautiful bird and a valuable resource.
|Name (Scientific)||Somateria mollissima|
|Name (French)||Eider à duvet|
|Name (Spanish)||Eider común|
|Local names||Czech: Kajka morská
Portuguese: Eider edredão
Romansh: Anda loma
|CITES Status||Not listed|
|CMS Status||Appendix II (as Anatidae spp.) Included in AEWA|
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|Range||Eurasia: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia former Yug. Rep., Netherlands, Norway (including Svalbard and Jan Mayen), Poland, Romania, Russian Fed., Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom.North America: Canada, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, United States Vagrants may be encountered in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia Georgia, Israel, Luxemburg, Montenegro, Portugal, Serbia.|
|Habitat||Marine and freshwater wetlands.|
|Wild population||The global population is estimated to be 2,500,000 to 3,600,000 individuals by Wetlands International (2002).|
|Zoo population||219 reported to ISIS (2006).|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 18 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
Find this animal on ZooLex
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Why do zoos keep this animal
The eider is a very attractive, species, thus a good ambassador for wetland and marine conservation. Being the producer of eider down, it is also of particular educational interest.