Squacco Heron Ardeola ralloides


Taxonomic source(s)
AERC TAC. 2003. AERC TAC Checklist of bird taxa occurring in Western Palearctic region, 15th Draft. Available at: # _the_WP15.xls#.
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.

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

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Least Concern
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 full migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass 287.0 g
Extent of occurrence (EOO)

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 54,300,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 37,500,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -
Population and trend
Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor estimated 2012
Population trend Unknown 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) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulations - - -
Generation length (yrs) 6.7 - - -

Population justification: The global population is estimated at 370,000-780,000 (Wetlands International 2015). The European population is estimated at 15,000-25,900 pairs, which equates to 30,000-51,700 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015).

Trend justification: The overall population trend is unclear, some populations are thought to be stable and others may be increasing or decreasing (Wetlands International 2015). The European population trend is estimated to be stable (BirdLife International 2015).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan V Extant
Albania N Extant Yes Yes
Algeria N Extant
Angola N Extant
Armenia N Extant Yes
Austria N Extant Yes
Azerbaijan N Extant Yes
Bahrain N Extant Yes
Belarus V Extant
Belgium V Extant
Benin N Extant
Bosnia and Herzegovina N Extant Yes
Botswana N Extant
Bulgaria N Extant Yes Yes
Burkina Faso N Extant
Burundi N Extant
Cameroon N Extant
Cape Verde V Extant
Central African Republic N Extant
Chad N Extant
Comoros N Extant
Congo N Extant
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the N Extant
Côte d'Ivoire N Extant
Croatia N Extant Yes Yes
Cyprus N Extant Yes
Czechia N Extant
Denmark V Extant
Djibouti N Extant
Egypt N Extant Yes
Equatorial Guinea N Extant
Eritrea N Extant
Eswatini N Extant
Ethiopia N Extant
Finland V Extant
France N Extant Yes Yes
Gabon N Extant
Gambia N Extant
Georgia N Extant Yes Yes
Germany N Extant Yes
Ghana N Extant
Gibraltar (to UK) V Extant
Greece N Extant Yes Yes
Guinea N Extant
Guinea-Bissau N Extant Yes
Hungary N Extant Yes
Iceland V Extant
Iran, Islamic Republic of N Extant Yes Yes
Iraq N Extant Yes Yes
Ireland V Extant
Israel N Extant Yes
Italy N Extant Yes Yes
Jordan N Extant Yes Yes
Kazakhstan N Extant Yes
Kenya N Extant
Kuwait N Extant Yes Yes
Lebanon N Extant Yes Yes
Lesotho N Extant
Liberia N Extant
Libya V Extant
Liechtenstein V Extant
Luxembourg V Extant
Madagascar N Extant
Malawi N Extant
Mali N Extant
Malta N Extant
Mauritania N Extant
Mauritius V Extant
Mayotte (to France) N Extant
Moldova N Extant Yes
Montenegro N Extant Yes Yes
Morocco N Extant
Mozambique N Extant
Namibia N Extant
Netherlands V Extant
Niger N Extant
Nigeria N Extant
North Macedonia N Extant Yes
Oman N Extant Yes Yes
Palestinian Authority Territories N Extant Yes
Poland V Extant
Portugal N Extant Yes
Qatar N Extant Yes Yes
Romania N Extant Yes Yes
Russia N Extant Yes
Russia (European) N Extant Yes
Rwanda N Extant
Saudi Arabia N Extant Yes Yes
Senegal N Extant
Serbia N Extant Yes Yes
Seychelles N Extant
Sierra Leone N Extant
Slovakia N Extant Yes
Slovenia N Extant
Somalia N Extant
South Africa N Extant Yes
South Sudan N Extant Yes Yes
Spain N Extant Yes Yes
Sudan N Extant
Sweden V Extant
Switzerland N Extant
Syria N Extant Yes Yes
Tanzania N Extant
Togo N Extant
Tunisia N Extant
Turkey N Extant Yes Yes
Turkmenistan N Extant Yes
Uganda N Extant
Ukraine N Extant Yes
United Arab Emirates N Extant Yes Yes
United Kingdom V Extant
Uzbekistan N Extant Yes
Western Sahara N Extant
Yemen N Extant Yes
Zambia N Extant Yes
Zimbabwe N Extant

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Armenia Metsamor
Azerbaijan Aggyol
Azerbaijan Gizilagach State Reserve
Azerbaijan Kura Delta
Azerbaijan Lake Mahmudchala
Azerbaijan Lake Sarysu
Bosnia and Herzegovina Hutovo blato
Botswana Okavango Delta
Bulgaria Belene Islands Complex
Bulgaria Ibisha Island
Bulgaria Kalimok Complex
Bulgaria Mandra-Poda complex
Bulgaria Pozharevo Island
Bulgaria Ropotamo Complex
Bulgaria Srebarna
Cameroon Logone flood-plain
Chad Lake Chad
Chad Lake Fitri
Croatia Grudnjak and Nasice Carp Fishponds
Croatia Jelas Field
Croatia Podunavlje and Lower Podravlje
Egypt Lake Manzala
France Camargue
France La Dombes
France Marais entre Crau et Grand Rhône: Meyranne, Chanoine, Plan de Bourg et Salins du Caban
France Petite Camargue fluvio-lacustre
Greece Amvrakikos gulf
Greece Axios, Loudias and Aliakmonas rivers' deltas
Greece Lake Ismarida (Mitrikou)
Greece Lake Kastoria (Orestiada)
Greece Lake Kerkini
Greece Lake Mikri Prespa and Lake Megali Prespa
Guinea-Bissau Arquipélago dos Bijagós
Hungary Bodrogzug–Taktaköz
Hungary Flood plain of Tiszaalpár
Hungary Hortobágy and Tisza-to
Hungary Kesznyéten
Hungary Lake Kis-Balaton
Hungary Lower Tisza Valley
Hungary Péteri Lake
Iran, Islamic Republic of Anzali Mordab complex
Iran, Islamic Republic of Arjan Protected Area
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lake Kobi
Iran, Islamic Republic of Lavandavil Wildlife Refuge
Iran, Islamic Republic of Miankaleh Peninsula and Gorgan Bay
Iran, Islamic Republic of Seyed Mohalli, Zarin Kola and Larim Sara
Iran, Islamic Republic of Shadegan marshes and tidal mudflats of Khor-al Amaya and Khor Musa
Israel Carmel coast
Italy Biviere and Plain of Gela
Italy Codigoro heronry
Italy Fucecchio marsh
Italy Iolanda di Savoia wetlands
Italy Lakes Montepulciano and Chiusi
Italy Lomellina and Heronries of Pavia province
Italy Po Delta
Italy Pools of Florence plain
Italy Punte Alberete and Valle della Canna, Pineta San Vitale and Pialassa della Baiona
Italy Simeto mouth and middle course and Biviere di Lentini
Italy Ticino river
Italy Valle Bertuzzi and Goro lagoon
Italy Valli Bolognesi
Italy Valli di Argenta
Italy Vercelli rice-fields
Mali Lac Débo - Lac Oualado Débo
Montenegro Lake Skadar
Portugal Paul do Boquilobo
Romania Allah Bair - Capidava
Romania Balta Mică a Brăilei
Romania Balta Vederoasa
Romania Bistreţ
Romania Blahniţa
Romania Braţul Borcea
Romania Comana
Romania Dăbuleni - Grinduri
Romania Danube Delta
Romania Dunăre - Olteniţa
Romania Dunăre - Ostroave
Romania Dunărea Veche (Braţul Măcin)
Romania Gruia - Gârla Mare
Romania Lake Beibugeac (Plopu)
Romania Lake Bugeac
Romania Lake Dunăreni
Romania Lake Oltina
Romania Olteniţa - Ulmeni
Romania Ostrovu Lung - Gostinu
Romania Vedea - Dunăre
Russia (European) Chechen' Island and east seaside of Agrakhan peninsula
Russia (European) Delta of the River Don
Russia (European) Shapsugsko-Takhtamutaiskaya rice-irrigation system
Russia (European) Southern Agrakhan lake
Russia (European) Varnavinsko-Kryukovskaya irrigation system
Russia (European) Volga Delta
Serbia Becej fish-pond
Serbia Carska bara
Serbia Gornje Potamisje
Serbia Srednje Potamišje
Serbia Subotica lakes and sandy terrain
South Africa Nyl River Floodplain
South Sudan Sudd (Bahr-el-Jebel system)
Spain Albufera de Valencia marshes
Spain Ebro delta
Spain El Hondo wetland
Spain Guadalquivir marshes
Spain Santa Pola salt-pans
Spain Tablas de Daimiel marshes; 'Vicario' and 'Gasset' reservoirs and Malagón lakes
Turkey Akşehir and Eber Lakes
Turkey Ereğli Plain
Turkey Göksu Delta
Turkey Hotamış Marshes
Turkey İron Marshes
Turkey Işıklı Lake
Turkey Köyceğiz Lake
Turkey Manyas Lake (Kuş Lake)
Turkey Marmara Lake
Turkey Meriç Delta
Turkey Mogan lake
Turkey Sultan Marsh
Turkey Uluabat Lake
Turkey Yeşilırmak Delta
Ukraine Dnipro delta
Zambia Bangweulu Swamps
Zambia Kafue Flats

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable non-breeding
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) major breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) major non-breeding
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) major breeding
Altitude 0 - 2000 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Handicrafts, jewellery, decorations, curios Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Non-trivial Recent
Other household goods - - Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Non-trivial Recent
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Ardeola ralloides. Downloaded from on 17/10/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 17/10/2019.