Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Charadriiformes Burhinidae

Scientific Name: Burhinus senegalensis
Species Authority: (Swainson, 1837)
Common Name(s):
English Senegal Thick-knee
French Oedicnème du Sénégal
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). 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:
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; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Djibouti; Egypt; Ethiopia; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Mali; Niger; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Sudan; Sudan; Togo; Uganda
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 7040000
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
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 13000-33000 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 mostly sedentary but may undertake seasonal movements in parts of West Africa in relation to flooding and drought (both of which cause the species to move out of an area) (del Hoyo, et al. 1996). In Nigeria it undertakes local movements only, corresponding to water level changes, and in other parts of its range it does not migrate (Urban, et al. 1986). It is commonly found in pairs or small parties of up to six individuals (flocks occasionally exceed 20-60 individuals on the River Nile in Egypt (del Hoyo, et al. 1996)), but in the breeding season nesting pairs become territorial and usually disperse to nest singly (Cramp and Simmons 1983). In the Nile Delta, the species commonly nests in small colonies however, with up to 21 nests recorded on the roof of one house. The timing of the breeding season varies according to locality (Urban, et al. 1986, del Hoyo, et al. 1996), but it usually occurs before the rains in areas with seasonal rainfall (del Hoyo, et al. 1996). The species is mainly nocturnal, but is often crepuscular (Cramp and Simmons 1983, Urban, et al. 1986), sometimes foraging in the twilight hours of morning and evening (Cramp and Simmons 1983). Habitat This species occupies a wide variety of open land with sparse or no vegetation, including savanna and woodland clearings, open orchards, sandy or stony ground amidst thorny scrub, gardens in towns and villages (Cramp and Simmons 1983, Hayman, et al. 1986), gravel roads (Urban, et al. 1986), burnt woodland and semi-arid grassland (del Hoyo, et al. 1996). It is always found in the close proximity to water, especially on sandy riverbeds, riverside mudbanks, rocks mid-stream (Cramp and Simmons 1983, Hayman, et al. 1986), lake shores, mangroves (Urban, et al. 1986), grassy flats beside rivers and irrigated fields (del Hoyo, et al. 1996). It avoids steep broken terrain, desert and tall, dense vegetation, either in wetland or forest (Cramp and Simmons 1983). Diet This species is carnivorous and feeds exclusively on land (del Hoyo, et al. 1996), its diet consisting mainly of insects (e.g. beetles, grasshoppers) and crustaceans, but also of molluscs, worms, frogs, tadpoles and small rodents (Cramp and Simmons 1983, Urban, et al. 1986). Breeding site The nest of this species is a shallow scrape positioned on bare ground, sand-banks, the top of low flat rocks or on rocky islets in rivers (Cramp and Simmons 1983). It has also been recorded nesting on the flat roofs of buildings in Egypt (Cramp and Simmons 1983).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 10.5
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by habitat loss and degradation in Ghana wetlands owing to coastal erosion and proposed developments involving drainage and land reclamation (Ntiamoa-Baidu 1991). Utilisation The species is hunted and traded at traditional medicine markets in Nigeria (Nikolaus 2001).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Burhinus senegalensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22693580A38483349. . Downloaded on 10 October 2015.
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