Zebrilus undulatus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Zebrilus undulatus
Species Authority: (Gmelin, 1789)
Common Name(s):
English Zigzag Heron

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): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Lees, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Zebrilus undulatus is a poorly known species of the Orinoco, Negro and Amazon basins. It occurs in east Colombia, where it is considered rare and local (del Hoyo et al. 1992). In bordering Venezuela there have been an increasing number of records, and the species may be locally common (Hilty 2003). From here, its range extends eastwards through Guyana to Suriname, French Guiana and north-central Brazil, and south-west to east Peru and north-west Bolivia (del Hoyo et al. 1992). It appears generally very rare, but has probably been significantly under-recorded due to its elusive nature and is likely to have a wider distribution than is currently known (Restall et al. 2006, A. Lees in litt. 2011).
Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Brazil; Colombia; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guyana; Peru; Suriname; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in the streams, pools, marshes and swamps of tropical evergreen forests, as well as in mangroves. Its diet is not well documented but is thought to mainly consist of small fish and flying insects (del Hoyo et al. 1992). It has also been observed foraging in "leaf muck" (Restall et al. 2006).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

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, for example in Venezuela (del Hoyo et al. 1992, A. Lees in litt. 2011). Proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code reduce the percentage of land a private landowner is legally required to maintain as forest (including, critically, a reduction in the width of forest buffers alongside perennial steams) and include an amnesty for landowners who deforested before July 2008 (who would subsequently be absolved of the need to reforest illegally cleared land) (Bird et al. 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). Campaign against proposed changes to the Brazilian Forest Code that would lead to a decrease in the width of the areas of riverine forest protected as Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs), which function as vital corridors in fragmented landscapes.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Zebrilus undulatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 02 September 2015.
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