Camptorhynchus labradorius J. F. Gmelin, 1789:537

Labrador duck, Pied duck, Skunk duck, Sand shoal duck, Sandshoal duck



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Anas labradoria Gmelin, 1789:537 (original combination); Somateria labradoria Gmelin, 1789:537; Camptolaemus labradorius Gmelin, 1789:537; Fuligula labradora Gmelin, 1789:537; Fulica grisea Leib, 1839:170; Fuligula grisea Leib, 1839:170?


Conservation Status


Last record: Autumn 1875; 12 December 1878 (Gregg, 1879)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


The Labrador duck apparently bred on Labrador, Canada, and wintered from Nova Scotia, Canada to Chesapeake Bay, USA. The last confirmed record of the species was in 1875. However, a specimen may have been shot and eaten on 12 December 1878 (Gregg, 1879).



North America


Biology & Ecology




The Naturalis Museum website states that 54 specimens of the Labrador duck have been preserved in museum collections around the world, including 10 in the AMNH, New York. However, (Chilton, 2009) reports that there are in fact 55 museum specimens, and no doubt others also existed in the past but have been lost or destroyed. And in addition, Glen Chilton (pers. comm., 18 April, 2012) confirms that there are in fact only 8 specimens in the collection of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), and not 10 as the Naturalis Museum claims.


The Naturalis Museum, Leiden, has two specimens:

RMNH 110.083 (male)

RMNH 110.084 (female)


USNM 1972


Photographs of every known stuffed specimen can be found on the website of Glen Chilton, the "world's leading authority on the extinct Labrador Duck".






Original scientific description:

Gmelin, J. F. (1789). [description of Camptorhynchus labradorius]. Syst. Nat. 1(2): 537.


Other references:

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My sincere appreciation goes to Glen Chilton for pointing out two factual errors in my original account of this species. I had inadvertently written that he reports that 54 museum specimens exist in his 2009 book, The Curse of the Labrador Duck. Whereas he actually reports 55.