Actophilornis albinucha


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Actophilornis albinucha
Species Authority: (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1832)
Common Name(s):
English Madagascar Jacana
French Jacana à nuque blanche

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Morris, P., Réné De Roland, L. & Young, G.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Malpas, L., Taylor, J.
This species has been uplisted to Near Threatened because it is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline owing to the loss and degradation of its wetland habitats and continued hunting pressure.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Actophilornis albinucha is endemic to Madagascar. It has been described as common or abundant in western and northern Madagascar, but is rare in the east of the island (Langrand 1990, Morris and Hawkins 1998). It has been noted that the species is becoming less frequently observed in suitable habitat (P. Morris in litt. 2010, L.-A. Réné de Roland in litt. 2012), probably indicating that a decline has occurred. This apparent decline is suspected to be on-going, on the basis of continued habitat loss and modification, as well as hunting pressure (del Hoyo et al. 1996, P. Morris in litt. 2010, L.-A. Réné de Roland in litt. 2012, G. Young in litt. 2012).
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 1,000-10,000 individuals, roughly equating to 670-6,700 mature individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Behaviour The migratory movements and breeding habits of this species are little known, although it appears to make minor local movements in response to water conditions and may breed throughout the year (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species is usually found alone or in pairs, more rarely in groups (one group recorded contained 75 individuals) (Langrand 1990). Habitat The species shows a preference for floating vegetation on shallow lake margins, in freshwater marshes, on ponds and on slow-flowing rivers, from sea-level to c.750 m (Langrand 1990, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Its diet consists of adult and larval insects and other invertebrates, as well as the seeds of aquatic plants (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a floating heap of aquatic vegetation (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is threatened by habitat loss and degradation, e.g. a decline in the population on Lake Aloatra has been attributed to siltation, agricultural development, drainage, over-fishing and illegal hunting (del Hoyo et al. 1996). In general, aquatic habitats in Madagascar are threatened by conversion to rice cultivation, which also results in a reduction in the extent of habitat fringed by water-lilies (Rabenandrasana and Sama 2006). However, the species can survive in some modified and disturbed habitats, such as flooded rice fields (G. Young in litt. 2012). This species, like all waterbirds in Madagascar, is hunted wherever possible (L.-A. Réné de Roland in litt. 2012, G. Young in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species, although it occurs in a number of protected areas, and will benefit from actions carried out for other aquatic bird species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to acquire a total population estimate and baseline estimates for certain sites. Conduct regular population monitoring at selected sites. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation across its range. Increase the area of suitable wetland habitat that receives effective protection. Conduct awareness-raising activities to help reduce habitat degradation.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Actophilornis albinucha. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 05 March 2015.
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