Humans are the main threat to the survival of this duck species. Its river habitat is polluted and eroded by silting, mining, and farming activities. Soil and water within the surrounding forest areas have high levels of toxicity.
The Brazilian Merganser belongs to the Anatidae family and the typical merganser genus, one of the most endangered waterfowl species in the world. With less than 250 individuals in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, it can only survive successfully in peaceful and clean freshwater environments with an abundance of fish.
Its beak is long and sharp-edged which is the basis of its name. It has an overall dark green or grey colour with red legs and feet. This slender, silent bird has a white wing patch that can only be observed in flight.