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White-spotted Flufftail Sarothrura pulchra
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction (del Hoyo et al. 1996).

Behaviour This species is non-migratory, although some populations may make local movements in disturbed and unusually dry habitats (del Hoyo et al. 1996). The timing of the breeding season is poorly known, but in most areas the species breeds during the rains (del Hoyo et al. 1996) in permanent territories held by solitary nesting pairs or family groups (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). The species forages diurnally, its activity peaking in the early morning and late afternoon (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Habitat The species requires areas of leaf-litter, mud, sand, gravel or shallow water covered with dense vegetation in which to forage, and is usually found associated with forest swamps, streams, pools and riverbanks in lowland rain forest (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). It may also occur up to 400 m away from water on the forest floor (Urban et al. 1986), and although it is rarely found deep inside primary forest, it may follow rivers and streams out into gallery forest, dense thickets of scrubby growth and neglected cultivation, exceptionally being found in papyrus and other vegetation by lakes (Urban et al. 1986, del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). The species is well adapted to forest disturbance, often remaining along forest streams after forest clearance, and successfully colonising cleared areas and secondary growth as long as suitable cover remains or develops (Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Diet Its diet consists chiefly of invertebrates such as insects (including ants, beetles, Hemiptera, flies and small moths), aquatic and terrestrial insect larvae (e.g. those of chironomids, mayflies, beetles and Lepidoptera), earthworms, nematodes, small leeches, small gastropods, myriapods and spiders, occasionally also taking small frogs and vegetable matter (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998). Breeding site The nest is a mound of dead leaves placed by forest pools, on damp forest floors, or on rotten tree roots standing in shallow swamp water (del Hoyo et al. 1996, Taylor and van Perlo 1998).

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Delany, S.; Scott, D. 2006. Waterbird population estimates. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Taylor, B. 1998. Rails: a guide to the rails, crakes, gallinules and coots of the world. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, UK.

Urban, E. K.; Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 1986. The birds of Africa vol. II. Academic Press, London.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Sarothrura pulchra. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Least Concern
Family Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, Coots)
Species name author (Gray, 1829)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 4,630,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change