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Gallinula chloropus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AVES GRUIFORMES RALLIDAE

Scientific Name: Gallinula chloropus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name/s:
English Common Moorhen, Moorhen
French Poule d'eau commune

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/s: Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.
Justification:
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 is extremely large, and hence does not 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.

Geographic Range [top]

Countries:
Native:
Afghanistan; Albania; Algeria; Angola (Angola); Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Armenia (Armenia); Aruba; Austria; Azerbaijan; Bahamas; Bahrain; Bangladesh; Barbados; Belarus; Belgium; Belize; Benin; Bermuda; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Brazil; Brunei Darussalam; Bulgaria; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cambodia; Cameroon; Canada; Cape Verde; Cayman Islands; Central African Republic; Chad; Chile; China; Colombia; Comoros; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Costa Rica; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cuba; Curaçao; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Djibouti; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Egypt; El Salvador; Eritrea; Estonia; Ethiopia; Finland; France; French Guiana; Gambia; Georgia; Germany; Ghana; Greece; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guam; Guatemala; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Hong Kong; Hungary; India; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Jamaica; Japan; Jordan; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Korea, Democratic People's Republic of; Korea, Republic of; Kuwait; Kyrgyzstan; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Latvia; Lebanon; Lesotho; Liberia; Libya; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macao; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Madagascar; Malawi; Malaysia; Maldives; Mali; Malta; Martinique; Mauritania; Mauritius; Mayotte; Mexico; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Moldova; Mongolia; Montenegro; Montserrat; Morocco; Mozambique; Myanmar; Namibia; Nepal; Netherlands; Nicaragua; Niger; Nigeria; Northern Mariana Islands; Norway; Oman; Pakistan; Palau; Palestinian Territory, Occupied; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Philippines; Poland; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Qatar; Réunion; Romania; Rwanda; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin (French part); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Sao Tomé and Principe; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Serbia (Serbia); Seychelles; Sierra Leone; Singapore; Sint Maarten (Dutch part); Slovakia; Slovenia; Somalia; South Africa; Spain; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Suriname; Swaziland; Sweden; Switzerland; Syrian Arab Republic; Taiwan, Province of China; Tajikistan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Togo; Trinidad and Tobago; Tunisia; Turkey; Turkmenistan; Turks and Caicos Islands; Uganda; Ukraine; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom; United States (Georgia); Uruguay; Uzbekistan; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Viet Nam; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.; Yemen; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Regionally extinct:
Equatorial Guinea
Vagrant:
Faroe Islands; Gibraltar; Greenland; Iceland; Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The global population is estimated to number c.3,900,000-8,100,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2006), while national population estimates include: c.100,000-1 million breeding pairs and > c.10,000 individuals on migration in China; c.100,000-1 million breeding pairs in Taiwan; c.10,000-100,000 breeding pairs and c.1,000-10,000 individuals on migration in Korea; c.100,000-1 million breeding pairs and >c.10,000 individuals on migration in Japan and c.100,000-1 million breeding pairs and > c.10,000 individuals on migration in Russia (Brazil 2009).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Behaviour This species is predominantly sedentary or locally dispersive, but makes partially or fully migratory movements in the northern parts of its range due to its vulnerability to freezing conditions (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Most northern populations move south from September to December, returning again from March to May (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species breeds in solitary territorial pairs during the spring, especially during wet months (the exact timing varying geographically) (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It remains largely solitary throughout the year although juveniles and adults may form diurnal feeding groups of up to 30 individuals in the winter, especially during hard weather (Taylor and van Perlo 1998), often congregating on sheltered lakes and ponds (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat The species inhabits freshwater wetlands, both still and moving, requiring easy access to open water (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and showing a preference for waters sheltered by woodland, bushes or tall emergent vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Suitable habitats include slow-flowing rivers (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), oxbow lakes (Taylor and van Perlo 1998), streams, canals, ditches, lakes, reservoirs, sites with small open water surfaces such as pools and ponds only a few metres across, swamps, marshes (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), seasonally flooded sites (del Hoyo et al. 1996) such as flood-plains (Taylor and van Perlo 1998), disused gravel pits, rice-fields (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), sewage ponds (Taylor and van Perlo 1998), and occasionally mangroves (Puerto Rico)and seashores (Azerbaijan) (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). It generally avoids very open sites (especially those exposed to wind or wave action) (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998) and oligotrophic or saline habitats (although it may be found on brackish waters) (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). When foraging the species may range onto drier grassland, agricultural land or meadows, and on migration and in the winter months it can often be observed on damp grassland away from water (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Diet The species is omnivorous and opportunistic, its diet consisting of earthworms, crustaceans, molluscs, adult and larval insects (especially flies, mayflies, caddisflies, bugs, beetles and Lepidoptera), spiders, small fish, tadpoles and occasionally birds eggs, as well as plant matter such as filamentous algae, moss, the vegetative parts of reeds and aquatic plants, the seeds of reeds, rushes, sedges, water-lilies, waterside herbaceous vegetation, trees (Ulmus spp.) and cereal crops, flowers of Eichhornia spp., and the berries and fruits of yew, Rubus, Sorbus, Rosa, Crataegus, Rhamnus, Hedera, Sambucus, Hippophae spp. and various orchard trees (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest varies between a shallow saucer and a deep cup constructed from twigs and waterside vegetation, and can be floating on or positioned up to 1 m above water in emergent vegetation, or positioned on a solid platform of branches in water. Less often the nest is placed in ground vegetation or in low bushes on the bank near water, or in bushes and trees up to 8 m from the ground (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Management information Early harvesting in rice-fields should be avoided as it harms nests and young broods of this species (Taylor and van Perlo 1998).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is susceptible to avian influenza (Melville and Shortridge 2006, Gaidet et al. 2007) and avian botulism (Forrester et al. 1980), so may be threatened by future outbreaks of these diseases. It also suffers nest predation from American mink Neovison vison in the UK (Ferreras and MacDonald 1999). Utilisation The species is hunted for local consumption and trade in Sumatra (Taylor and van Perlo 1998) and Malawi (Bhima 2006), for sport in the USA (Taylor and van Perlo 1998) , and for commercial and recreational purposes in Gilan Province, northern Iran (Balmaki and Barati 2006).
Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Gallinula chloropus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 16 April 2014.
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