EN
Secretarybird Sagittarius serpentarius



Taxonomy

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
- A2acde+3cde+4acde A2acde+3cde+4acde

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2020 Endangered A2acde+3cde+4acde
2016 Vulnerable A4acd
2012 Vulnerable A4acd
2011 Vulnerable A4a,c,d
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 nomadic Forest dependency does not normally occur in forest
Land-mass type Average mass 4,017 g
Range

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence (breeding/resident) 23,200,000 km2 medium
Severely fragmented? no -
Population
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
Population size 6700-67000 mature individuals poor suspected 2001
Population trend decreasing poor inferred 1994-2022
Rate of change over the past 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 70-79% - - -
Rate of change over the future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 70-79% - - -
Rate of change over the past & future 10 years/3 generations (longer of the two periods) 70-79% - - -
Generation length 9.3 years - - -

Population justification: Although the species occurs across a vast range, surveyed densities suggest that the total population size does not exceed a five-figure number.

Trend justification: Large declines have been reported throughout the species's range, including the Sahel region of Mali, Niger, and Burkino Faso (Thiollay, 2001, R. Buij, unpublished data), Cameroon (Thiollay, 2006), Kenya (Ogada et al. 2020 in prep.), Botswana (Garbett et al,. 2018), Estwatini (Monadiem et al. 2003) and South Africa (Hofmeyr et al. 2014). On the basis of this evidence the species is inferred to be undergoing rapid declines overall.


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding visitor Non-breeding visitor Passage migrant
Angola extant native yes
Benin extant native yes
Botswana extant native yes
Burkina Faso extant native yes
Burundi extant native yes
Cameroon extant native yes
Central African Republic extant native yes
Chad extant native yes
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the extant native yes
Côte d'Ivoire extant native yes
Djibouti extant native yes
Eritrea extant native yes
Eswatini extant native yes
Ethiopia extant native yes
Gambia extant native yes
Ghana extant native yes
Guinea-Bissau extant uncertain
Kenya extant native yes
Lesotho extant native yes
Liberia extant vagrant
Malawi extant native yes
Mali extant native yes
Mauritania extant native yes
Mozambique extant native yes
Namibia extant native yes
Niger extant native yes
Nigeria extant native yes
Rwanda extant vagrant
Senegal extant native yes
Somalia extant native yes
South Africa extant native yes
South Sudan extant native yes
Sudan extant native yes
Tanzania extant native yes
Togo extant native yes
Uganda extant native yes
Zambia extant native yes
Zimbabwe extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
South Africa Grasslands
South Africa Blyde River Canyon
South Africa KwaZulu-Natal Mistbelt Grasslands
South Africa Benfontein
Kenya Nairobi National Park
South Africa Devon Grasslands
Kenya Kirisia Forest
South Africa iSimangaliso Wetland Park
South Africa Amatola - Katberg Mountain
South Africa Upper Orange River
South Africa Botsalano Nature Reserve

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Pastureland suitable resident
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Savanna Dry suitable resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry suitable resident
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Nomadic grazing Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species mortality
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
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Causing/Could cause fluctuations Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Human intrusions & disturbance Work & other activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Species disturbance, Reduced reproductive success
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression - Increase in fire frequency/intensity Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Residential & commercial development Housing & urban areas Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion

Utilisation
Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Medicine - human & veterinary - - non-trivial recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - international non-trivial recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Sagittarius serpentarius. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/secretarybird-sagittarius-serpentarius on 24/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from https://datazone.birdlife.org on 24/02/2024.