LC
African Crake Crex egregia



Justification

Justification of Red List Category
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 has not been quantified, 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.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Ecology

Behaviour This species is a partial migrant, moving both north and south of the equator to breed during the rains (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It breeds in solitary territorial pairs, and normally occurs singly, in pairs or family parties (Urban et al. 1986, Taylor and van Perlo 1998) outside of the breeding season, with small groups of up to six individuals occurring together on migration (Urban et al. 1986). Newly arrived migrants in both the breeding and non-breeding grounds have also been observed in groups of 3-8 individuals (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). The species is most active early and late in the day, especially after heavy rain or during light rain (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Habitat The species shows a preference for a range of grassland habitats (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998) from seasonally moist or inundated grasslands (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998) (e.g. temporary wetlands in the moist grassland of the Okavango Delta) (Taylor and van Perlo 1998), grass and rank vegetation at the edges of freshwater swamps, reedy marshes, and open waters (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998) (e.g. rivers, streams and farm dams) (Urban et al. 1986), to tall grass savannas (Taylor and van Perlo 1998) and dry grassland in lightly wooded country (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). The species also frequents grassy areas in forest clearings and occurs around exotic plantations (Taylor and van Perlo 1998), in maize, rice and cotton fields (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), in neglected cultivation (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), and in moist sugar cane plantations adjacent to marshy areas (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Its grassland habitat is frequently burnt in the dry season, forcing emigration (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Diet Its diet consists of earthworms, molluscs, insects and their larvae (especially termites, ants, beetles and grasshoppers), small frogs (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), small fish (Taylor and van Perlo 1998), grass seeds (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and vegetable matter (e.g. grass blades, green shoots and other leaves) (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Breeding site The nest is a shallow cup of grass blades that is usually positioned on the ground in a scrape or depression, often hidden under a tussock or small bush (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998), occasionally also 2-15 cm above dry ground, or floating or standing in water in dense grass or other vegetation (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998).

Threats

The loss of wetland and grassland habitats due to overgrazing, cultivation (del Hoyo et al. 1996) (e.g. sugarcane plantations) (Taylor and van Perlo 1998) and human settlement is a threat to this species (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Utilisation The species is killed for food in some regions (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998).

Acknowledgements

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Malpas, L.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Crex egregia. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/08/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/08/2020.