Map_thumbnail_large_font

Haematopus moquini 

Scope: Global
Language: English
Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_offStatus_nt_onStatus_vu_offStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Charadriiformes Haematopodidae

Scientific Name: Haematopus moquini
Species Authority: Bonaparte, 1856
Common Name(s):
English African Oystercatcher, African Black Oystercatcher
French Huîtrier noir
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, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
Identification information: 42-45cm. All dark oystercatcher with fully black upperparts, orange bill and eye-ring, red eye and pinkish-red legs. Similar spp. Very similar to other black oystercatchers, but range does not overlap. Darker upperparts than New World species and bill much shorter than Australasian species. The Extinct Canary Island Oystercatcher H. meadewaldoi had shorter wings and a longer bill than H. moquini.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Dodman, T., Simmons, R. & Scott, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Martin, R, O'Brien, A., Pilgrim, J., Robertson, P., Taylor, J., Ashpole, J & Westrip, J.
Justification:
This species is listed as Near Threatened owing to its small population and hence almost qualifies for Vulnerable under criterion C1. The population trend was unknown but it may now be thought to be in a state of growth and so the species may qualify for downlisting to Least Concern in the future.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Haematopus moquini has a coastal breeding range which stretches from Lüderitz, Namibia, to Mazeppa Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa. The total population is estimated to number 6,670 individuals (Underhill 2014), with about half occurring along the Western Cape (South Africa) coastline, half of these on its near-shore islands.

Countries occurrence:
Native:
Namibia; South Africa
Vagrant:
Angola (Angola); Mozambique
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1690000
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
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Population genetics suggest that there has been a low historical population size (Bray and Hockey 2015). The population is now estimated at 6,670 individuals (Underhill 2014), roughly equivalent to 4,450 mature individuals.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be increasing thanks to improved habitat management on near-shore islands. With a c.46% increase between 1979/80 and 1997-2002 (Underhill 2014).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:4450Continuing 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 Adults of this species are mostly sedentary, although some seasonal movement occurs between breeding and non-breeding habitats (Hockey et al. 2005), within a 15km range (Urban et al. 1986). Breeding occurs from September to April, with a peak from November to February (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005). It breeds slightly later in Namibia than in South Africa (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005). The start and duration of egg-laying is affected by predation risk and weather conditions, including unpredictable tidal inundation (Calf and Underhill 2005, Tjørve and Underhill 2008). Juveniles disperse from their natal area, but dispersal distance shows a great range, from only a few kilometres to >2,000km (Rao et al. 2014). These return to their natal area after 2-3 years (Hockey et al. 2005, Scott et al. 2011). The species breeds and forages solitarily (Urban et al. 1986, Hockey et al. 2005), but roosts communally in groups of up to 200 in the non-breeding season (Urban et al. 1986, Hockey et al. 2005). Habitat Breeding Offshore islands and sandy beaches are favoured as breeding habitats (Hockey et al. 2005). It rarely breeds on mainland rocky shores (Urban et al. 1986, Hockey et al. 2005), although this has been recorded at De Hoop Nature Reserve in the southern Cape (Scott et al. 2011, 2012). Non-breeding The species forages exclusively in the intertidal zone (Urban et al. 1986, Hockey et al. 2005) and is found on mainland rocky and sandy shores during the non-breeding season, being less frequent in estuaries, lagoons and coastal pans (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005). It tends to roost on promontaries with good all-round visibility (Hockey et al. 2005). Nurseries occur in both sheltered bays and open rocky shores (Hockey et al. 2005). Diet Its diet includes primarily bivalves such as limpets and mussels, but also polychaetes, whelks and crustaceans (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005, Scott et al. 2012). Breeding site The nest is a scrape in sand where possible, but on rocky subtrata shells are built up to form a lip (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005), or eggs are laid on bare rock (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005). The nest is usually situated within 30m of the high water mark (Hockey et al. 2005, Calf and Underhill 2005), often beside a disruptive object such as a rock or clumps of kelp (Hockey et al. 2005, Jeffery and Scott 2005). The clutch-size ranges from one to three eggs, but is usually two. The incubation period is 27-39 days, followed by a fledging period of 35-40 days; pairs rear one or two chicks. Fledging success is 0.3-0.6 young per pair per year on predator-free offshore islands, but is usually lower on the mainland (but 0.7-0.9 has been recorded at De Hoop Nature Reserve on the mainland [Scott et al. 2011]). There is evidence that breeding productivity has increased on the west coast since 1980, following the invasion of the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. Age of first breeding is three years in females, and probably four years in males. The species is known to live for over 18 years (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Systems:Terrestrial; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):13.7
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The peak of the breeding season coincides with peak coastal recreational activities and the resulting disturbance reduces breeding success (Leseberg et al. 2005). Off-road vehicles are a particular problem, as they churn up beaches, run over nests and crush eggs, and kill young hiding in vehicle tracks. In addition, people on beaches, and mixed shores, used for breeding can keep adults off nests for extended periods, overheating eggs and killing embryos, and predation of eggs and chicks by domestic dogs can be a problem (Leseberg et al. 2005). Disturbance also leads to the predation of eggs and chicks by Kelp Gulls Larus dominicanus (Jeffery and Scott 2005, Scott et al. 2011). On sections of the coastline undisturbed by humans, natural predators (e.g. mongoose) take many nests. The mainland is likely to prove a population sink for surplus birds from near-shore islands, with breeding productivity too low to sustain coastal populations. Coastal development is thought to have caused declines in some areas (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The c.30% of the total population that is found on offshore islands is threatened by the introduction of mammalian predators (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
On most near-shore islands, population sizes have been stable or increased recently due to either improved management, e.g. the cessation of guano-scraping during the 1980s, and/or a change in diet from indigenous limpets and mussels to invasive mussels such as Mytilus galloprovincialis (e.g. at Robben Island, South Africa) (Calf and Underhill 2002). Recreational vehicles have been banned from the Overberg coast since February 2002 (Jeffery and Scott 2005), and this has been associated with a significant increase in numbers of adult oystercatchers at De Hoop Nature Reserve from 1994 to 1998 (Scott et al. 2011). The national Oystercatcher Conservation Programme (OCP) has been raising public awareness concerning the species and its needs, and has been generating local community involvement it its conservation (Jeffery and Scott 2005).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor population trends and annual breeding success. Study local predators (e.g. Kelp Gulls) and rates of predation. Create disturbance-free areas on beaches and mixed shores used for breeding. Protect areas of coastal habitat. Design measures to prevent the introduction of mammalian predators to breeding islands.


Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Haematopus moquini. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22693627A93416134. . Downloaded on 28 March 2017.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided