VU
Shoebill Balaeniceps rex



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
- - C2a(ii)

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2016 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2012 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2008 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2006 Vulnerable
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1988 Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Average mass -
Distribution

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 2,360,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 3,070,000 medium
Number of locations 11-100 -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 3300-5300 medium estimated 2003
Population trend Decreasing medium 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) 10-19 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations 1 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation 100 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 12.2 - - -

Population justification: The total population has been estimated at 5,000-8,000 individuals (T. Dodman in litt. 2002), and a total population estimate of fewer than 10,000 individuals is supported by Dinesen and Baker (2006). The range of 5,000-8,000 individuals roughly equates to 3,300-5,300 mature individuals.

Trend justification: There is little doubt that the species is declining in Tanzania, Zambia and Rwanda, with declines perhaps in Uganda as well, and the species may be more threatened than available information suggests (L. Dinesen in litt. 2007).


Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Central African Republic N Extant Yes
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the N Extant Yes
Ethiopia V Extant Yes
Rwanda N Extant Yes
South Sudan N Extant Yes
Sudan N Extant Yes
Tanzania N Extant Yes
Uganda N Extant Yes
Zambia N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Virunga National Park
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Upemba National Park
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Lufira valley
Ethiopia Baro river
Ethiopia Gambella National Park
Rwanda Akagera National Park
South Sudan Sudd (Bahr-el-Jebel system)
South Sudan Boma
Tanzania Burigi - Biharamulo Game Reserves
Tanzania Moyowosi - Kigosi Game Reserves
Uganda Queen Elizabeth National Park and Lake George
Uganda Kyambura Wildlife Reserve
Uganda Semliki reserves
Uganda Lake Mburo National Park
Uganda Nabugabo wetland
Uganda Mabamba Bay
Uganda Murchison Falls National Park
Uganda Ajai Wildlife Reserve
Uganda Lake Nakuwa
Uganda Lake Bisina
Uganda Lake Opeta
Zambia Bangweulu Swamps
Zambia Mweru Wantipa National Park
Zambia Kasanka National Park
Zambia Sumbu National Park and Tondwa Game Management Area
Uganda Nabajjuzi Wetland
Uganda Kibimba Rice Scheme

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Artificial/Aquatic - Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land suitable resident
Artificial/Terrestrial Arable Land suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) major resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) major resident
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) major resident
Altitude   Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals - Persecution/control Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Energy production & mining Oil & gas drilling Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Human intrusions & disturbance War, civil unrest & military exercises Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Species disturbance, Species mortality
Human intrusions & disturbance Work & other activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species disturbance
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Bos taurus Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation, Reduced reproductive success
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases - Unspecified species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Species mortality
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use - Large dams Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression - Trend Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents - Herbicides and pesticides Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Oil spills Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Industrial & military effluents - Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 5
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation
Transportation & service corridors Roads & railroads Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Stresses
Ecosystem degradation

Utilisation
Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Food - human - - - Non-trivial Recent
Food - human - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Balaeniceps rex. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/10/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/10/2021.