Madagascar Sacred Ibis Threskiornis bernieri


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.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- A2bc+4bc A2bc+4bc; C2a(i)

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Endangered A2bc+4bc
2016 Endangered C1
2013 Endangered C1
2012 Endangered C1
2008 Endangered C1
2006 Endangered
2004 Endangered
2000 Not Recognised
1994 Not Recognised
1988 Not Recognised
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Medium
Land mass type Land-mass type - shelf island
Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 564,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1733-2166 medium estimated 2006
Population trend Decreasing medium inferred -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 50-70 - - -
Number of subpopulations 2 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation 1-89 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 10.66 - - -

Population justification: The total population is estimated to be 2,600-3,250 individuals (1,200-2,500 on Madagascar [Wetlands International 2002; F. Hawkins in litt. 2003; Delany and Scott 2006], and 300-750 on Aldabra, Seychelles  [Rocamora and Skerrett 2001]). This is roughly equivalent to 1,733-2,166 mature individuals.

Trend justification: The species is inferred to be declining due to hunting pressure, habitat loss and degradation. Important habitats are affected by pollution, sedimentation and the encroachment of alluvial sands (Andrianarimisa and Razafimanjato 2011). This species has declined rapidly in parts of Madagascar: 21 sites surveyed in 1998/1999 and again in 2005/2006 showed a decline from 715 individuals to 190 (Andrianarimisa and Razafimanjato 2011), equivalent to 70-75%, or  90-100% over three generations (32 years). This trend is considered likely to have continued given this species's reliance on coastal mangrove habitats, which are continually degraded and destroyed associated with the rising human population. Elsewhere in its range however, it has remained stable. The species's population increased at Bay de Baly between 2000 and 2004, and appeared stable at Mahavavy Delta between 2002 and 2005 (R. Rabarisoa <i>in litt</i>. 2007). The population of <i>abbotti</i> appears to also be stable. Consequently, the species is suspected to have declined 50-70% over the past three generations.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Madagascar N Extant Yes
Seychelles N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Madagascar Bombetoka Bay - Marovoay NPA
Madagascar Mahavavy - Kinkony wetlands NPA
Madagascar Baly Bay National Park
Madagascar Coastal area between Lokaro and Lavanono
Madagascar Ambondrombe (Belo sur Tsiribihana) NPA
Madagascar Antrema NPA

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level major resident
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes major resident
Marine Intertidal Mud Flats and Salt Flats major resident
Marine Neritic Estuaries major resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 191 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Shifting agriculture Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting - Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Soil erosion, sedimentation Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Threskiornis bernieri. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/08/2022.