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Fulica cristata 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Gruiformes Rallidae

Scientific Name: Fulica cristata Gmelin, 1789
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Red-knobbed Coot, Crested Coot, Red-Knobbed Coot
French Foulque à crête
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. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Malpas, L.
Justification:
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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not 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.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Native:
Angola; Botswana; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Kenya; Lesotho; Madagascar; Malawi; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; Rwanda; South Africa; Spain; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Possibly extinct:
Algeria
Regionally extinct:
Tunisia
Introduced:
United Arab Emirates
Vagrant:
Burundi; France; Italy; Malta; Oman; Portugal; Somalia
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:27100000
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
Upper elevation limit (metres):3000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population is estimated at 107,000-1,011,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2016). The European population is estimated at 25-90 pairs, which equates to 50-170 mature individuals. However Europe represents <5% of the global range.

Trend Justification:  The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have stable trends (Wetlands International 2016). The tiny European population is estimated to be fluctuating (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing 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 This species is both sedentary and nomadic (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005), often making local movements (Taylor and van Perlo 1998) in response to rainfall, water levels and the availability of its favoured foods (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005) (e.g. pondweed Potamogeton pectinatus) (Urban et al. 1986). The timing of the breeding season varies geographically (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The species is a solitary territorial breeder (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996) although it is occasionally observed in family groups (Hockey et al. 2005), with flocks of non-breeding individuals also occurring during the breeding season (Taylor and van Perlo 1998, Hockey et al. 2005). After breeding the species becomes more gregarious (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), forming flocks which range in size from small groups of 10-12 individuals, to larger, loose-knit groups of 20-330 (Langrand 1990), occasionally also to large flocks of up to 1,000 or more (Hockey et al. 2005). Adults may undergo a flightless moult period that lasts 49-59 days at any time of the year (Urban et al. 1986, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). During this time moulting birds remain out on open water among full-winged birds, possibly to avoid predation (Urban et al. 1986, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Habitat The species requires wetlands with submerged aquatic vegetation and still water for foraging, and waters with fringing or emergent vegetation in which to nest when breeding (del Hoyo et al. 1996). During periods of flightless moult adults also prefer more permanent open waters rich in submerged aquatic vegetation (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Suitable habitats include open freshwater or slightly brackish (Langrand 1990, Gomez 2002) lakes, lagoons, ponds, dams, and permanent or temporary pans, flood-plains (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005), sewage ponds, reed, papyrus and Typha swamps (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Hockey et al. 2005), and occasionally rivers and tidal lagoons (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet The species is omnivorous, its diet consisting predominantly of the shoots, fruits and seeds of submerged or floating aquatic plants (such as aquatic ferns Marsila spp., knotweed Aeschynomene fluitans, Polygonum limbatum, saw-weed Najas pectinata, pondweed Potamogeton pectinatus, ditch grass Ruppia maritima and water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes), filamentous and macroscopic algae (Hockey et al. 2005), and grass, as well as molluscs, crustaceans, insects and occasionally carrion (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a platform of reeds and other aquatic plant material (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998) built either on open water (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998) (sometimes anchored to water-lilies or on rafts of fresh, green reeds) (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), or within emergent vegetation (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998) on a foundation of bent and trampled stems (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). No attempt at concealing the nest is made (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996), although the site chosen usually facilitates quick and easy access to open water (Hockey et al. 2005). Management information Adequate wetland management can increase the breeding success of this species (e.g. limiting the areas with grazing livestock, maintaining stable water-levels during the breeding season,providing more vegetation for nesting and reducing disturbance can all have positive effects) (Gomez 2002).
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater; Marine
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):7
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant
Congregatory:Congregatory (and dispersive)

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is susceptible to avian botulism (Blaker 1967, van Heerden 1974) so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the disease. It is also threatened by poisoning, both intentionally (pest control) and unintentionally (pesticides used on crops) (Hockey et al. 2005). The species is threatened in Spain and Morocco (the northernmost range extremes) primarily by habitat loss and degradation due to changes in hydrological regime, over-exploitation of catchments and sedimentation (which are altering the periods of wetland flooding), agricultural, industrial and domestic pollution, overgrazing (cattle herds), the burning of reeds, and the introduction of alien species (e.g. Louisiana Swamp Crayfish Procambarus clarkii and Ciprinidae fish which both reduce the availability of food and hence increase competition) (Gomez 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Bern Convention Appendix II. EU Birds Directive Annex I. An International Species Action Plan was published in 2000 (Gomez 2000). It is listed as Critically Endangered on the Red Lists of Spain and Portugal (Madroño et al. 2004, Cabral et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Key sites for this species should be restored and conserved to increase the extent of available habitat. Its ecology, habitat requirements and movements should be researched and monitoring of the evolution and state of the population undertaken. Public awareness of the need to protect the species and its habitat should be raised. Development and implementation of the Regional Recovery Plans of the species, as well as legal protection of the species and its key sites are needed. Restrict the hunting of Common Coot (Fulica atra) at sites where the Crested Coot is regularly recorded. Keep a breeding population of the species in captivity to ensure a genetic stock of individuals, in addition to increasing the productivity of the wild population by the systematic reintroduction of captive individuals into its natural habitats (Gomez 2000).

Classifications [top]

5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.5. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.6. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
13. Marine Coastal/Supratidal -> 13.4. Marine Coastal/Supratidal - Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
13. Marine Coastal/Supratidal -> 13.5. Marine Coastal/Supratidal - Coastal Freshwater Lakes
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.1. Artificial/Aquatic - Water Storage Areas (over 8ha)
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.2. Artificial/Aquatic - Ponds (below 8ha)
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.6. Artificial/Aquatic - Wastewater Treatment Areas
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:No

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:Yes
  Systematic monitoring scheme:Yes
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  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:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:No
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.3. Persecution/control
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 5 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.1. Increase in fire frequency/intensity
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.4. Abstraction of surface water (unknown use)
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Procambarus clarkii ]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.2. Competition

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species [ Clostridium botulinum ]
♦ timing:Future ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.2. Named species
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.2. Competition

9. Pollution -> 9.1. Domestic & urban waste water -> 9.1.3. Type Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

9. Pollution -> 9.2. Industrial & military effluents -> 9.2.3. Type Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.2. Soil erosion, sedimentation
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.3. Herbicides and pesticides
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.4. Type Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:Negligible declines ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

Bibliography [top]

BirdLife International. 2015. European Red List of Birds. Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg.

Blaker, D. 1967. An outbreak of Botulinus poisoning among waterbirds. Ostrich 38(2): 144-147.

Cabral, M.J., Almeida, J., Almeida, P.R., Dellinger, T., Ferrand de Almeida, N., Oliveira, M. E., Palmeirim, J.M., Queiroz, A.I., Rogado, L. and Santos-Reis, M. (eds). 2005. Livro Vermelho dos Vertebrados de Portugal. Instituto da Conservação da Natureza, Lisboa.

Delany, S. and Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

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.

Gomez, C. R. 2000. Action plan for the Crested Coot (Fulica cristata). Convention on the conservation of European wildlife Standing Committee, Strasburg.

Hockey, P.A.R., Dean, W.R.J. and Ryan, P.G. 2005. Roberts birds of southern Africa. Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town, South Africa.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

Langrand, O. 1990. Guide to the birds of Madagascar. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Madroño, A.; González, C.; Atienza, J.C. 2004. Libro Rojo de las aves de España. Sociedad Española de Ornitología, Madrid.

Taylor, B.; van Perlo, B. 1998. Rails: a guide to the rails, crakes, gallinules and coots of the world. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, UK.

Urban, E.K., Fry, C.H. and Keith, S. 1986. The Birds of Africa, Volume II. Academic Press, London.

van Heerden, J. 1974. Botulism in the Orange Free State goldfields. Ostrich 45(3): 182-184.


Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Fulica cristata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22692907A89656879. . Downloaded on 19 November 2017.
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