Agamia agami 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Pelecaniformes Ardeidae

Scientific Name: Agamia agami
Species Authority: (Gmelin, 1789)
Common Name(s):
English Agami Heron
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.
Taxonomic Notes:

Identification information: 60-76 cm. Large, rufous heron. Body mainly rufous, with a green back and  wings and a white throat. Other distinguishing features include long yellow bill, red iris and yellow legs.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A3c ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Lees, A. & Panjabi, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A.

Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, and its susceptibility to hunting, it is suspected that the population of this species will decline rapidly over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Vulnerable.

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/near threatened (LR/nt)
1988 Near Threatened (NT)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Agamia agami is a Neotropical species, and is generally scarce throughout its distribution. Its range extends from east Mexico in the north through Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. It was considered widespread and common in Panama in the 1960s, but is rare to the south in bordering Colombia. In the west, the species reaches north-west Ecuador (del Hoyo et al. 1992). To the east, the species occurs in French Guiana, where it is considered widespread; the largest known colony (c.2,000 pairs) was discovered here recently (Restall et al. 2006). A second, disjunct range spreads south-east from French Guiana, through Suriname and Guyana (del Hoyo et al. 1992). In Venezuela it is uncommon and very local, although recorded regularly in forest at Hato Piñeiro,  Hato Cedral, and the Camani area (Hilty 2003). In north and central Brazil, it is thought to be unusually common along the Rio Juruá, and likewise in south-east Peru. Its distribution spreads as far as east Bolivia (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Countries occurrence:
Belize; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guatemala; Guyana; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 7840000
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
Lower elevation limit (metres): 300
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2600
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Partners in Flight estimate the total population to number 50,000-499,999 individuals (A. Panjabi in litt. 2008).

Trend Justification:  This species is suspected to lose 18.6-25.6% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (22 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). Given the susceptibility of the species to hunting and/or trapping, it is therefore suspected to decline by ≥30% over three generations.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
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: This species occurs in swampy stream and lake margins within tropical forest, and also in seasonal marshes. It tends to remain in lowlands under 300 m in elevation, but has been recorded at 2,600 m in Colombia's east Andes. Fish are its primary food source, with cichlids (Aequidens) and characins (Triportheus, Astyanax) recorded as prey. The breeding season appears to coincide with the arrival of rains; nest building occurs between June and September in both Costa Rica and Venezuela (del Hoyo et al. 1992). The species is semicolonial (Hilty 2003). Nests are built in a tree or bush 1-2 m above water (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Unknown
Generation Length (years): 7.4
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant
Congregatory: Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation in the Amazon basin as land is cleared for cattle ranching and soy production, facilitated by expansion of the road network (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). It is also susceptible to hunting (A. Lees in litt. 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Agamia agami. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22697200A40244589. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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