Ardeotis kori 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Otidiformes Otididae

Scientific Name: Ardeotis kori
Species Authority: (Burchell, 1822)
Common Name(s):
English Kori Bustard
French Outarde kori
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: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Coetzee, R., Shaw, J. & Cordeiro, N.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Symes, A.
This huge African bustard is suspected to be undergoing moderately rapid population declines across much of its range owing to a variety of threats including collisions with power lines, hunting and habitat degradation. It has consequently been uplisted to Near Threatened.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2012 Least Concern (LC)
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]

Range Description:This species has an extremely large but disjunct range in sub-Saharan Africa. occurring from Ethiopia and Somalia south to Tanzania, and from southern Angola and Zimbabwe south to South Africa. Declines in its overall range over the past century appear to have been relatively modest, but it has apparently undergone considerable population declines in all range states except Zambia (few records) and Angola (Senyatso et al. 2012).
Countries occurrence:
Angola (Angola); Botswana; Ethiopia; Kenya; Mozambique; Namibia; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Sudan; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Possibly extinct:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:3570000
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
Upper elevation limit (metres):2000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be still common where undisturbed (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The population in South Africa has been estimated at 2,000-5,000 birds (Barnes 2000).

Trend Justification:  Senyatso et al. (2012) found that the Extent of Occurrence contracted by 21% in East Africa and 8% in southern Africa since the late 19th century, and there was extensive qualitative evidence for an overall population decline, with considerable pre- and post-1970 population declines in all range states except Zambia and Angola, as well as ongoing changes in the internal characteristics of this species’s range, at least since the early 20th century. In Tanzania, encounter rates dropped considerably since the 1970s outside of national parks in areas such as the Kilimanjaro plains, Lolkisale and Monduli plains, Arusha Chini, Loliondo (N. Cordeiro in litt. 2013). In the South African Karoo the species experiences high levels of mortality owing to collisions with power lines, and collision rates in Namibia are also thought to be extremely high. Estimates of 534 (95% CI 139-931) birds killed annually in the Karoo alone (rising to 721 [95% CI 188-1,256] birds when adjusted for observer search bias) are worryingly high given that the total South African population has been estimated at just 2,000-5,000 birds (Shaw 2013). Although comparison of road census data in the Karoo from the 1980s and 2000s did not find evidence of a decline, it is possible that the area is acting as a population sink for this locally nomadic species (J. Shaw in litt. 2013). Overall trends are hard to piece together, but given the qualitative evidence for range-wide declines, it seems reasonable to suspect that the species is undergoing ongoing declines of 25-29% in 47 years (three generations).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:UnknownContinuing 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:It occurs in flat, arid, mostly open country such as grassland, karoo, bushveld, thornveld, scrubland and savanna but also including modified habitats such as wheat fields and firebreaks (del Hoyo et al. 1996). In Kenya at least, birds may move into woodland in the dry season. The diet includes a wide range of plants and animals including insects, reptiles, small rodents, birds, carrion, seeds, berries and roots (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It is largely sedentary, but does undertake local movements.
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):15.6
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

Collisions with high voltage power lines are a major threat in the Karoo of South Africa and in Namibia, and presumably elsewhere where there are power lines within the range (J. Shaw and R. Coetzee in litt. 2013). Declines in Tanzania can probably be attributed to trade in the species during the 1990s and 2000s (N. Cordeiro in litt. 2013). There is also anecdotal information from South Africa indicating that the species is used in the muti (traditional medicine) trade, hunted for bush meat, and illegally kept as pets (R. Coetzee in litt. 2013). The causes of population declines and range losses in many parts of the distribution are unknown, but have been hypothesised to include persecution, rangeland degradation and shrub encroachment (Senyatso et al. 2012). In Botswana, unregulated hunting appears to be a genuine threat while cattle-induced bush encroachment is not (Senyatso 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation and research actions underway
CITES Appendix II. The species is legally protected in many range states.

Conservation and research actions proposed
Continue to raise awareness to stop hunting for bushmeat and traditional medicine, and to encourage the public to report mortality from power lines. All new infrastructure (power lines, wind turbines) should be sited and mitigated appropriately, and dangerous sections of line should be retrofitted with appropriate mitigation. Carry out further research into mitigation measures for power line collisions.

Classifications [top]

2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:No
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:No
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:No
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable season: resident major importance:No
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:Yes
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:No
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:No
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.2. Utility & service lines
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.6. Actions

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Barnes, K. N. 2000. The Eskom Red Data Book of birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.

del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., and Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

IUCN. 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2013.2). Available at: (Accessed: 13 November 2013).

Senyatso, K. J. 2011. Conserving widely distributed wildlife species in an African savanna: parks, cattle-grazing and community- managed areas. PhD thesis. University of East Anglia.

Senyatso, K. J.; Collar, N. J.; Dolman, P. M. 2012. Assessing range-wide conservation status change in an unmonitored widespread African bird species. Diversity and Distributions 19(2): 106-119.

Shaw, J. M. 2013. Power line collisions in the Karoo: Conserving Ludwig’s Bustard. PhD thesis. University of Cape Town.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2013. Ardeotis kori. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T22691928A49185989. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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