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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

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Anas platyrhynchos

Common name:


Scientific name:

Anas platyrhynchos

Alternative common names:

Mallard duck (English); mallardse eend (Afrikaans)

Mallard are becoming a common sight around many dams and waterbodies in Gauteng and the Cape. Mallard reach a body length up to 58cm. The male has a glossy green head and a white neck collar, as well as a bright yellow bill and chestnut-brown breast. The female is mottled brown with an orange or black bill. Mallards are detrimental to our indigenous water birds as they are capable of interbreeding with the yellow-billed duck (Anas undulata). 

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Northern Hemisphere

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    NEMBA – Category 2

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Escapees have established feral, self-sustaining populations, primarily in the Western Cape and Gauteng.

    How does it spread?

    High reproduction success

    Why is it a problem?

    Hybridizes with endemic duck species, such as the yellow-billed duck (Anas undulata) threatening the genetic integrity of these indigenous ducks. Mallards also compete against indigenous species for the same resources, such as food and nesting sites.

    What does it look like?

    Description: The mallard is about 58cm in length. It has a blue patch on the top side of its wings with a white line around it. The male mallard is brightly coloured and has a green head and neck with a white ring bordering it. It has a brown chest, a whitish-grey underside, brown wings and a yellow bill. The female mallard is mottled brown and tan with a white tail and an orange bill. Habitat: Vegetated wetlands, including estuaries and lagoons. Breeding: Breeding occurs in early spring. Nests are depressions in the ground, not too far from water and the nest is lined with down and is usually hidden in tall grass. Egg clutches may consist of 5-14 eggs laid at about 1 egg per day; Incubation is performed by the female for about 30 days. The male will leave once incubation has begun.

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General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…


This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training


During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group


Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?


On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released


Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised


The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more