Band-bellied Crake Zapornia paykullii


Justification of Red List category
This species is classified as Near Threatened because, although it has a relatively large range, it appears to be scarce, with a moderately small population which is likely to declining, perhaps primarily owing to agricultural intensification. However, further information is needed regarding its habitat preferences, particularly on its wintering grounds.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, although national population estimates include: c.100-10,000 breeding pairs and c.50-1,000 individuals on migration in China. Recent fieldwork at Muraviovka and around the Amur region have revealed that the species is common in suitable habitats, even in drier areas and appears to have some tolerance to changes in water level and habitats affected by fires (W. Heim in litt. 2016).

Trend justification
There are no data on population trends; however, agricultural intensification is suspected to be causing a decline at an unknown rate.

Distribution and population

Zapornia paykullii is known to breed in the middle and lower Amur Valley and Primorye in south-east Russia, and Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Hebei and northern Henan in north-east China (BirdLife International 2001). It is has been reported to breed in both North Korea and South Korea, although this is unproven. In Russia, although it is still common in parts of its breeding range in most areas, it appears only sporadically. It occurs on passage and/or in winter in North Korea, South Korea, China (Inner Mongolia, Shandong and southwards to southern China, including Hong Kong (China)), central Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia (Peninsular, Sabah and Sarawak) and Indonesia (northern Sumatra, Java and northern Kalimantan, with one record from southern Sulawesi). It is a vagrant on Sakhalin Island in Russia and in Japan, and there is an erroneous record from the Philippines. However there have been very few south east Asian records in recent years and very little information is available from the assumed wintering areas. Its status and winter distribution urgently require investigation.


It breeds in lowland marshes and meadows with tussocks, thickets or small trees, and is often found near villages and along field edges. It winters in wet grassland, swamps and paddyfields.


It is threatened by the intensification of agriculture, industrial development and other forms of habitat destruction.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys in the breeding and wintering grounds to estimate the size of the population and its habitat preferences. Encourage farming systems that create and do not destroy suitable habitat for the species. Oppose development schemes that destroy sites where the species is found.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Mahood, S., Taylor, J., Martin, R

Heim, W., Robson, C.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Zapornia paykullii. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/band-bellied-crake-zapornia-paykullii on 29/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 29/02/2024.