The species is susceptible to oil pollution2, 14 when moulting and in winter and may be threatened by high levels of organochloride contaminants2. Its habit of congregating around coastal sewage outlets in the winter also puts it at risk from other pollution types1 and large numbers often drown due to entanglement in fishing nets14. The species is threatened by hunting for sport in North America7, 8, and suffers from disturbance from hunting12. It is also susceptible to avian influenza, so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the virus9. Utilisation The species is hunted legally for sport in seven countries of the European Union2 (e.g. Denmark10), and is hunted for commercial and recreational purposes in Iran11.
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