Rallus caerulescens 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Gruiformes Rallidae

Scientific Name: Rallus caerulescens Gmelin, 1789
Common Name(s):
English African Rail, African Rail, Kaffir Rail
French Râle bleuâtre
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. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Malpas, L., Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J.
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). The population trend is not known, but the population is not believed to be decreasing sufficiently rapidly to approach the thresholds under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, 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:

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Angola; Botswana; Burundi; Cameroon; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Ethiopia; Gabon; Kenya; Lesotho; Malawi; Mozambique; Namibia; Rwanda; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Sao Tomé and Principe; Sierra Leone
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:20900000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme 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):3000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:UnknownContinuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Behaviour There is no evidence that this species makes regular migratory movements (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998) although numbers may fluctuate throughout the year in some locations due to the dispersal of immatures and to nomadic behaviour in response to environmental conditions (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998, Hockey et al. 2005). The species is a strongly territorial breeder (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and undergoes a flightless moulting period lasting for c.3 weeks between August and November (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Habitat It inhabits permanent and temporary swamps and marshes often at the edge of lakes, pools, rivers and streams, and also occurs in seasonally wet sugar-cane plantations and paddy-fields adjacent to natural marshes (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). It requires shallowly flooded areas with mud and floating vegetation for foraging (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), and shows a preference for habitats lined with reedbeds or dense species-rich vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998) with channels and runways linking patches of more open growth (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). For breeding the species shows a preference for seasonally inundated grasslands and sedge meadows (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998) with robust sedges and grasses c.50 cm or more in height (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Diet Its diet consists of worms, crustaceans (e.g. crabs and crayfish), aquatic and terrestrial adult and larval insects, spiders, small fish, small frogs and some vegetable matter including seeds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a shallow cup of plant matter well concealed in aquatic vegetation, usually over water (del Hoyo et al. 1996).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):4.6
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Rallus caerulescens. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22692498A93356313. . Downloaded on 21 June 2018.
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