Zapornia pusilla 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Gruiformes Rallidae

Scientific Name: Zapornia pusilla (Pallas, 1776)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Baillon's Crake, Marsh Crake
French Marouette de Baillon
Porzana pusilla (Pallas, 1776)
Taxonomic Source(s): Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Taxonomic Notes: Zapornia pusilla (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Porzana.

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): Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., 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). 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 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:

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Angola; Australia; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahrain; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Bulgaria; China; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Egypt; Ethiopia; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Lebanon; Libya; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Madagascar; Malawi; Malaysia; Malta; Mauritania; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar; Namibia; Nepal; Netherlands; New Zealand; Oman; Pakistan; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation (Central Asian Russia, Eastern Asian Russia, European Russia); Rwanda; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia; Singapore; Slovenia; Somalia; South Africa; Spain; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Swaziland; Switzerland; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Uganda; Ukraine; Uzbekistan; Viet Nam; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; Cameroon; Denmark; Faroe Islands; Finland; Hong Kong; Ireland; Luxembourg; Slovakia; Sweden; Syrian Arab Republic; Taiwan, Province of China; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:225000000
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):2450
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The European population is estimated at 980-1,400 calling or lekking males, which equates to 2,000-2,800 mature individuals or 3,000-4,200 individuals (BirdLife International 2015). Wetlands International (2015) estimates the population size of the obscura race to be 10,000-25,000 individuals and the affinis race at 1-10,000 individuals. Population estimates for the remaining four races are not known. Combining data from BirdLife International (2015) and Wetlands International (2015) provides a global population estimate of c.13,000-39,000 individuals which is equivalent to c.8,600-26,000 mature individuals. National population estimates include: c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in China; c.100-10,000 breeding pairs, c.50-1,000 individuals on migration and < c.50 wintering individuals in Japan and c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).

Trend Justification:  The population trend is difficult to determine because of uncertainty over the impacts of habitat modification on population sizes.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:8000-26000Continuing 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 African and Australasian populations of this species are non-migratory or only make local movements in response to seasonal habitat changes (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Those populations in Europe and Asia however appear to be fully migratory (del Hoyo et al. 1996), most flying southward from late-August to October and returning to the northern breeding areas from March to May (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). The species breeds in solitary pairs (Urban et al. 1986, Langrand 1990) in the spring, usually nesting during or just after the wet season (where this occurs) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It is usually a solitary species, but can be found in pairs or family groups, and sometimes forages in small groups of up to 10 individuals in non-breeding areas (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). The species forages diurnally but is most active in the early morning and late afternoon or evening (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat The species frequents similar habitats throughout its range and throughout the year (Urban et al. 1986, Langrand 1990, Marchant and Higgins 1993, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), although its breeding areas are characterised by low, dense, tussocky or continuous vegetation such as flooded sedges and grasses (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It inhabits freshwater, brackish or saline marshy wetlands (Marchant and Higgins 1993, del Hoyo et al. 1996), both inland and coastal (Australasia) (Marchant and Higgins 1993), permanent and temporary, with dense emergent and floating vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (especially reeds, rushes, sedges, tall dense grasses and Typha spp.) (Urban et al. 1986). Typical habitats include marshes, swamps, peat bogs, flooded meadows (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), damp grassland (del Hoyo et al. 1996), seasonally flooded pans and depressions, tussocky grassland interspersed with patches of mud on the margins of open water (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998)(e.g. lakes and reservoirs) (Urban et al. 1986, Marchant and Higgins 1993), pools in sand-dunes (Marchant and Higgins 1993, del Hoyo et al. 1996), swampy creeks, rivers (Marchant and Higgins 1993) and streams (Urban et al. 1986), tall reedbeds (2-3 m high) (Taylor and van Perlo 1998) with extensive mud, shallow puddles and Sesbania bushes (del Hoyo et al. 1996), and occasionally salt-marsh (Marchant and Higgins 1993, del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species also frequents marshy artificial wetlands such as irrigated fields of crops (e.g. rice) (Marchant and Higgins 1993, del Hoyo et al. 1996), sewage ponds (Marchant and Higgins 1993, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), salt-works (Marchant and Higgins 1993, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), farm ponds (Urban et al. 1986, Marchant and Higgins 1993, del Hoyo et al. 1996) and dense grassy vegetation in rural residential areas (Marchant and Higgins 1993, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Although the species shows a preference for shallowly flooded areas, breeding birds may occupy grassland and sedges flooded to a depth of 30 cm and will occur on floating vegetation or in tall shrubs flooded to a depth of 2 m (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Diet Its diet consists predominantly of adult and larval insects (e.g. beetles, bugs, Odonata, stoneflies, caddisflies, flies and mosquitos) (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), as well as annelids (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (up to 10 cm long) (Taylor and van Perlo 1998), molluscs, small crustaceans (e.g. ostracods and copepods), small fish (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (up to 2 cm long) (Taylor and van Perlo 1998), amphibians (Taylor and van Perlo 1998), and vegetative plant material and seeds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a shallow cup or platform of vegetation placed close to water on a grass tussock or in soft grass, usually 4-60 cm above the water level (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Occasionally the nest may be floating or anchored to vegetation in water, or placed in or under low bushes (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Management information Changes in water level during the nesting period should be avoided, cutting and burning of vegetation near the waters edge should be controlled and the maintenance of natural vegetation around fish ponds and rice-fields should be encouraged (Taylor and van Perlo 1998).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):2.7
Movement patterns:Full Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is threatened by degradation and loss of seasonal and ephemeral wetlands owing to drainage, overgrazing, cultivation (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), reed-cutting, reed-burning and sudden changes in water levels caused by discharges from large dams (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). The species also suffers high mortality during migration from collisions with powerlines (Taylor and van Perlo 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
CMS Appendix II. EU Birds Directive Annex I. Bern Convention Appendix II. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species in Europe.

Conservation Actions Proposed
The following information refers to the species's European range only: Key sites should be identified and protected and monitoring of populations introduced. Management techniques should include avoiding changes in water level during the nesting period; cutting and burning of vegetation near the waters edge should be controlled; natural vegetation around fish ponds and rice-fields should be maintained. Research into the species's population dynamics and habitat requirements would inform future conservation measures.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Zapornia pusilla. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22692667A86163860. . Downloaded on 22 June 2018.
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