Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Gruiformes Heliornithidae

Scientific Name: Podica senegalensis
Species Authority: (Vieillot, 1817)
Common Name(s):
English African Finfoot
French Grébifoulque d'Afrique
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2009 Least Concern (LC)
2008 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)
2000 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1994 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola); Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Kenya; Liberia; Malawi; Mali; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Present - origin uncertain:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 12100000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1800
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Behaviour This species is largely sedentary (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). It nests in solitary territorial pairs (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), the timing of breeding corresponding to peaks in water-level (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat The species occurs in forest and wooded savanna along permanent streams (del Hoyo et al. 1996) with thick growths of Syzygium guineese, along secluded reaches of thickly wooded rivers (Urban et al. 1986), on the edges of pools, lakes and dams with well-vegetated banks (particularly with reeds and overhanging branches) (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), on the edges of dense papyrus beds far from the shore (Urban et al. 1986), in mangrove swamps (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), creeks (Urban et al. 1986) and in flooded forest (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It is rarely found away from shoreline vegetation and generally avoids stagnant or fast-flowing water (Urban et al. 1986). Diet Its diet consists predominantly of invertebrates such as adult and larval insects (e.g. Ephemeropta, Odonata, Coleoptera and Orthoptera), spiders, millipedes, crustaceans (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. crabs, shrimps and prawns) (Urban et al. 1986), small snails, frogs, small fish (del Hoyo et al. 1996), snakes (Hockey et al. 2005) and occasionally vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a flat, loose structure of reeds and twigs (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) placed 1-4 m high over water either on a mass of flood debris or fallen branches (del Hoyo et al. 1996), on an overhanging tree limb or on a horizontal branch (Urban et al. 1986).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 10.4
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is threatened by habitat degradation from increased river siltation, reduced river flow (due to commercial afforestation) (Hockey et al. 2005) and pesticide contamination (which leads to reductions in prey availability) (Brooks and Gardner 1980). Utilisation The species is hunted and traded at traditional medicine markets in Nigeria (Nikolaus 2001).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Podica senegalensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22692177A38425024. . Downloaded on 06 October 2015.
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