Egretta gularis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Egretta gularis
Species Authority: (Bosc, 1792)
Common Name(s):
English Western Reef-egret, Western Reef-Egret, Western Reef Egret, Western Reef Heron, Western Reef-Heron
Taxonomic Notes: Egretta garzetta and E. dimorpha (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) have been lumped into E. garzetta following Kushlan and Hancock (2005) who also lump E. gularis with E. garzetta; this latter treatment is under review by the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group.

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 appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable 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.

Geographic Range [top]

Bahrain; Burkina Faso; Cameroon; Côte d'Ivoire; Djibouti; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; Eritrea; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; India; Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Kenya; Kuwait; Liberia; Mali; Mauritania; Morocco; Nigeria; Oman; Pakistan; Qatar; Sao Tomé and Principe; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; United Arab Emirates; United States; Yemen
Antigua and Barbuda; Barbados; Bulgaria; Cape Verde; Dominica; Ethiopia; France; Greece; Guadeloupe; Martinique; Montserrat; Portugal; Puerto Rico; Rwanda; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; South Africa; Spain (Canary Is.); Trinidad and Tobago; Uganda
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Behaviour There is little known about the movements of this species (Hancock and Kushlan 1984, Kushlan and Hancock 2005), although it apparently disperses widely (Hancock and Kushlan 1984, del Hoyo et al. 1992, Kushlan and Hancock 2005) and may be partially migratory (Hancock and Kushlan 1984, Kushlan and Hancock 2005). It breeds between April and July or in October (del Hoyo et al. 1992) in solitary pairs, or more usually in small colonies of around 12 pairs (sometimes up to 100) (Brown et al. 1982). When not breeding the species is a solitary feeder, although it is occasionally found in small groups (Brown et al. 1982). It feeds diurnally, but also at night depending on the tides, and roosts at night in large numbers of between 500 and 1,000, in mangroves or on rocky cliffs and islets (Brown et al. 1982). Habitat The species shows a preference for rocky or sandy shores and reefs (Brown et al. 1982, del Hoyo et al. 1992, Kushlan and Hancock 2005), but will also frequent other coastal habitats such as estuaries, mudflats, saltmarshes, mangroves, tidal creeks (Brown et al. 1982, del Hoyo et al. 1992) and lagoons (Brown et al. 1982). Diet The diet of this species consists mainly of fish, crustaceans and molluscs, but crickets, grubs and earthworms are also taken (Brown et al. 1982). Breeding site The species nests in solitary pairs or small colonies on the ground, or in reedbeds, bushes and mangrove trees up to 20 m high, as well as on ledges or boulders (del Hoyo et al. 1992), the nest being a platform of twigs and seaweed (Brown et al. 1982).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species wasseriously persecuted and hunted for the plume trade in the past, but has since recovered (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Egretta gularis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. <>. Downloaded on 23 July 2014.
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 fill in the feedback form so that we can correct or extend the information provided