Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
Christidis, L. and Boles, W.E. 2008. Systematics and Taxonomy of Australian Birds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.
Cramp, S. and Simmons, K.E.L. (eds). 1977-1994. Handbook of the birds of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The birds of the western Palearctic. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
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.
Turbott, E.G. 1990. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand. Ornithological Society of New Zealand, Wellington.

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

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2016 Least Concern
2012 Least Concern
2009 Least Concern
2008 Least Concern
2004 Least Concern
2000 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1994 Lower Risk/Least Concern
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern
Species attributes

Migratory status not a 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) 261,000,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 259,000,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2009
Population trend Unknown not applicable -
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) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 5.9 - - -

Population justification: Wetlands International (2015) estimate the overall population to be 780,000-2,910,000 individuals. The European population (consisting of individuals from the caspius and porphyrio subspecies) is estimated at 9,600-51,000 pairs, which equates to 19,100-102,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification: The overall population trend is uncertain, as some populations are decreasing, while others are increasing, stable, or have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006). The European population is estimated to be fluctuating (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan N Extant Yes
Algeria N Extant Yes
American Samoa N Extant Yes
Angola N Extant Yes
Australia N Extant Yes
Austria V Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes
Bangladesh N Extant Yes
Belgium V Extant Yes
Bhutan N Extant Yes
Botswana N Extant Yes
Burkina Faso N Extant Yes
Burundi N Extant Yes
Cambodia N Extant Yes
Cameroon N Extant Yes
Central African Republic N Extant Yes
Chad N Extant Yes
China (mainland) N Extant Yes
Congo V Extant Yes
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the N Extant Yes
Côte d'Ivoire N Extant Yes
Croatia N Extant Yes
Cyprus V Extant Yes
Czechia V Extant Yes
Egypt N Extant Yes
Eswatini N Extant Yes
Ethiopia N Extant Yes
Fiji N Extant Yes
France N Extant Yes
Gambia N Extant Yes
Germany V Extant Yes
Ghana N Extant Yes
Greece V Extant Yes
Guinea-Bissau N Extant Yes
Hong Kong (China) V Extant Yes
Hungary V Extant Yes
India N Extant Yes
Indonesia N Extant Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes
Israel V Extant Yes
Italy N Extant Yes
Jordan V Extant Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kenya N Extant Yes
Kuwait N Extant Yes
Laos N Extant Yes
Lebanon V Extant Yes
Lesotho N Extant Yes
Liberia N Extant Yes
Madagascar N Extant Yes
Malawi N Extant Yes
Malaysia N Extant Yes
Mali N Extant Yes
Mauritania N Extant Yes
Mauritius N Extinct Yes
Morocco N Extant Yes
Mozambique N Extant Yes
Myanmar N Extant Yes
Namibia N Extant Yes
Nepal N Extant Yes
New Caledonia (to France) N Extant Yes
New Zealand N Extant Yes
Niger N Extant Yes
Nigeria N Extant Yes
Niue (to New Zealand) N Extant Yes
Norway V Extant Yes
Oman V Extant Yes
Pakistan N Extant Yes
Palau N Extant Yes
Papua New Guinea N Extant Yes
Philippines N Extant Yes
Poland V Extant Yes
Portugal N Extant Yes
Qatar N Extant Yes
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Rwanda N Extant Yes
Samoa N Extant Yes
Senegal N Extant Yes
Sierra Leone N Extant Yes
Singapore N Extant Yes
Solomon Islands N Extant Yes
Somalia V Extant Yes
South Africa N Extant Yes
Spain N Extant Yes
Sri Lanka N Extant Yes
St Helena (to UK) V Extant Yes
Sudan N Extant Yes
Syria N Extant Yes
Tanzania N Extant Yes
Thailand N Extant Yes
Timor-Leste N Extant Yes
Togo N Extant Yes
Tonga N Extant Yes
Tunisia N Extant Yes
Turkey N Extant Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes
Uganda N Extant Yes
United Arab Emirates N Extant Yes
Vanuatu N Extant Yes
Vietnam N Extant Yes
Zambia N Extant Yes
Zimbabwe N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Azerbaijan Shorgel lakes/Shirvan reserve
Azerbaijan Gizilagach State Reserve
Azerbaijan Aggyol
Azerbaijan Absheron archipelago (north) and Pirallahi bay
Azerbaijan Lake Boz-Koba
Azerbaijan Divichi liman (or Lake Akzibir)
Azerbaijan Lake Mahmudchala
Azerbaijan Sangachal Bay
Azerbaijan Lake Sarysu
Azerbaijan Shahdidi spit
Azerbaijan Lake Ych-chala (Novogolovka-chala)
Azerbaijan Varvara Reservoir
Azerbaijan Yashma Island
Portugal Ria Formosa (Faro lagoon)
Turkey Göksu Delta
Turkey Akyatan Lake
Greece Nestos delta and coastal lagoons
Spain Medina and Puerto Real lagoons
Spain Lagunas de El Puerto de Santa María
Spain Guadalquivir marshes
Spain Wetlands at south Córdoba
Spain Marmolejo reservoir-La Ropera
Spain Middle section of river Guadalquivir reservoirs
Spain Albufera de Mallorca and Albufereta de Pollença marshes
Spain Ebro delta
Spain Cortados del Jarama
Spain Fuente de Piedra, Gosque and Campillos lakes
Spain Lebrija, Las Cabezas and Espera lagoons
Spain Cádiz bay
Spain Ampurdán marshes
Spain Almenara marshes
Spain El Moro marshes
Spain Córdoba countryside
Spain Castrejón reservoir
France Etangs de Canet et de Villeneuve-de-la-Raho et embouchure du Tech
Italy Colostrai pool
Italy Casaraccio pool, Stintino saltpans and Pilo pool
Italy Oristano wetlands
Italy Cagliari wetlands
Italy Palmas Gulf wetlands
Italy Coastal stretches from Coghinas river-mouth to Cape Testa
Burkina Faso Béli River
Burkina Faso Lake Oursi - Lake Darkoye
Egypt Lake Manzala
Egypt Lake Burullus
Egypt Wadi El Rayan Protected Area
Mali Lac Débo - Lac Oualado Débo
Mauritania Lac d'Aleg
Mauritania Lac de Mâl
Mauritania Rkîz
Mauritania Sawana - Oum Lellé
Malawi Lake Chilwa and flood-plain
Niger Kokoro wetland
Nigeria Hadejia-Nguru wetlands
Senegal Djoudj wetlands
Senegal Niayes (from Dakar to St Louis)
Portugal Pera marsh
Italy Sinis and Oristano wetlands
Mauritania Gâat Mahmoûdé
Vietnam U Minh Thuong
Myanmar Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary and surroundings
India Mangal Jodi
Portugal Lagoa Pequena
Portugal Paul do Boquilobo
Portugal Santo André and Sancha lagoons
Portugal Vilamoura
France Etangs Narbonnais
France Camargue
France Etangs Montpellierains
France Marais entre Crau et Grand Rhône: Meyranne, Chanoine, Plan de Bourg et Salins du Caban
France Etangs de Leucate et Lapalme
Afghanistan Hamun-i-Puzak
Iran, Islamic Republic of Anzali Mordab complex
Iran, Islamic Republic of Horeh Bamdej
Iran, Islamic Republic of Arjan Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of South end of the Hamoun-i Puzak
Syria Sabkhat al-Jabboul
Turkmenistan Deryatakyr
Turkey Seyhan Delta
Turkey Kızılırmak Delta
Italy Cape Caccia and Conte port
Italy Central Campidano
Russia (European) Chechen' Island and east seaside of Agrakhan peninsula
Italy Simeto mouth and middle course and Biviere di Lentini
Algeria Lac Tonga
New Zealand Upper Buller
Philippines Candaba swamp
Philippines Lalaguna marsh
Philippines Lake Naujan
Philippines Lake Lanao
Turkmenistan Gurtli

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Wastewater Treatment Areas suitable resident
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable resident
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Freshwater Lakes suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 2500 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Porphyrio porphyrio. Downloaded from on 26/01/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/01/2021.