Distribution and biological peculiarities in Armenia: The species occupies mainly central Asia. It is monotypic. In Armenian White-headed Ducks occur in Lake Sevan and in the Araks Valley, however breed only in Ararat Plain occupying primarily artificial lakes and ponds surrounded by dense reedbeds (Phragmites). The species returns from the wintering ground usually in April. It breeds deep in reed thickets on a clump of rotted aquatic vegetation, having from 3 to 6 eggs in the clutch. The fledglings are observed in June-July. The food of the species is consisting predominantly of midge (chironomids) larvae and other aquatic invertebrates such as amphipods, isopods and polychaetes (especially in coastal wintering sites). Seeds and the vegetative parts of Potamogeton spp., Ruppia spp. and other aquatic plants are also being taken.
Population dynamics: According to the last estimation, population of the species makes from 15 to 20 breeding pairs. Population trend during last ten years demonstrates stability, with large fluctuations though, which are most probably caused by poaching. The last occurs mostly occasionally, due to lack of identification skills of hunters and lack of public awareness about the critical status of the species. While the first reason is mainly associated with "soft" licensing conditions for the hunters and absence of test on the species identification, the second reason is mostly result of general lack of environmental education in the country. Thus a regular hunter could possibly shoot White-headed Duck because cannot distinguish it from other duck species, or because of lack of knowledge about endangered status of that species. However the major threat for the species can come with intensification of production system at carp-farms, which will result in increasing of fish-stock density and decrease of shore vegetation.
Conservation Measures: The species is included in IUCN Red List and in the Red Book of Animals of Armenia (2010) as Endangered A2bcde+4bcde. Also the species is listed in Appendix I of CITEC, Appendix II of the Bern Convention and on Appendices I and II of the Bonn Convention. At current none of breeding populations of the species are covered by National Protected Areas, however some wetlands of Ararat Plain have been suggested to be included into Emerald Network, protected under Bern Convention (2016). The proposed conservation measures include annual monitoring of breeding population, study of species' habitat requirements at a local level, designation of new Emerald Sites and development of the management plans for the existing ones (including change of protection regime of some wetlands), investigation and adoption of mutually beneficial schemes of fish-farming, improvement of hunters education and raising their awareness about importance of the species, and radical change of hunters' licensing via introduction of species identification tests.