NT
King Rail Rallus elegans



Taxonomy

Taxonomic note
Rallus elegans and R. tenuirostris (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) were previously lumped as R. elegans following AOU (2000). Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993) included tenuirostris within R. longirostris.

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, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Near Threatened A2ce+3ce+4ce
2014 Near Threatened A2ce+3ce+4ce
Species attributes

Migratory status full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass -
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 7,070,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 5,320,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals unknown not applicable not applicable 0
Population trend Decreasing suspected -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 25-29 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 25-29 - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 4.6 - - -

Population justification: The population of elegans is estimated at 104,000-105,000 individuals, and that of ramsdeni 500-999 individuals (Wetlands International 2014).

Trend justification: The species is in decline owing mainly to the loss, fragmentation and degradation of wetland habitats (Cooper 2008). Qualitative observations and Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data are indicative of declines across most of the species’s range in the USA, although caution is advised in using BBS data, as the methods and coverage of these surveys may not provide the most reliable data for this species (reviewed by Cooper 2008). Overall, a moderately rapid population decline, approaching 30% over 14 years (three generations), is suspected.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Canada N Extant Yes
Cuba N Extant Yes
Mexico N Extant Yes
USA N Extant Yes Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands major breeding
Altitude 0 - 2500 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Unintentional effects (species is not the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Residential & commercial development Commercial & industrial areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Residential & commercial development Housing & urban areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Transportation & service corridors Roads & railroads Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Rallus elegans. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/12/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/12/2019.