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Neotis nuba

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AVES OTIDIFORMES OTIDIDAE

Scientific Name: Neotis nuba
Species Authority: (Cretzschmar, 1826)
Common Name(s):
English Nubian Bustard
French Outarde nubienne, Outarde de Nubie
Spanish Avutarda Núbica

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Brouwer, J., Dowsett, R., DuRose, K. & Wacher, T.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Pilgrim, J., Robertson, P., Taylor, J. & Symes, A.
Justification:
This species is classified as Near Threatened because it is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline owing to intense hunting in parts of its range, in combination with other factors. However, if further information shows that the decline is rapid, the species would warrant uplisting to Vulnerable.

History:
2012 Near Threatened

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Neotis nuba has a disjunct range across the Sahelian and, marginally, Saharan zones of Africa. The western subspecies N. n. agaze has populations in Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and western Chad, and the eastern subspecies N. n. nuba has a single population in eastern Chad and Sudan (Johnsgard 1991). N. n. agaze was formerly common in Mali and Mauritania and probably remains common only in Chad and Niger, while N. n. nuba is described as rare and little known in Sudan (Urban et al. 1986, Nikolaus 1987). Vehicle-based transect surveys for raptors in the Sahel zone of Mali and Niger in 2004 failed to record any bustard species, despite N. nuba being frequently recorded along the same transects in 1971 and 1973 (Thiollay 2006). Bustards can be inconspicuous, which, coupled with the focus of these surveys on raptors, means that some birds were probably missed, and local hunters reported that bustard species were still extant in the surveyed areas; however, the difference between the survey results from the early 1970s and 2004 most likely indicates dramatic declines in this species (Thiollay 2006). Several hundred kilometres of vehicle-based transects have been conducted recently in Mauritania in search of N. nuba, without any success by January 2012 (K. DuRose in litt. 2012). 

Countries:
Native:
Burkina Faso; Chad; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Sudan
Vagrant:
Cameroon; Nigeria
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as fairly common (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occupies desert fringes, semi-arid scrub and savanna where it feeds on large insects, as well as grass seeds, leaves and fruits (Urban et al. 1986).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There is little information on the current status of this species or its population trends. However, it apparently suffers from widespread hunting, which may now be causing substantial declines in parts of its range (Urban et al. 1986, Johnsgard 1991). Over-hunting is probably the main cause of declines in the bustard species of Sahelian West Africa. Off-take by local nomads has been augmented by the hunting activities of military and mining personnel, as well as tourists (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Thiollay 2006). Civil war in Chad in the 1980s, and recent unrest in Sudan, is likely to have increased local hunting pressure because of the number of weapons available. Other threats to N. nuba may include the intensification of land use, disturbance by off-road vehicles, overgrazing, disturbance by livestock, firewood collection and commercial wood collection (J. Brouwer in litt. 1999). Although the Sahel zone has seen only a limited impact from West Africa’s rapid human population growth, along with low population densities and a predominantly traditional nomadic lifestyle, habitat degradation is occurring through the thinning of sparse non-regenerating Acacia woodlands, as well as the overgrazing of sub-desert steppes and excessive harvesting of firewood, which are followed by wind erosion and sand encroachment (Thiollay 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Regularly monitor the species at selected sites across its range to determine trends. Research the extent and nature of the threat caused by hunting. If sensible and feasible, regulate hunting. Ensure complete protection of important populations of both subspecies.


Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Neotis nuba. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 17 September 2014.
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