This species is listed as Vulnerable because it has a small population which is believed to be declining owing to habitat loss and degradation, with current rates of habitat loss leading to the projection of rapid population declines in the future.
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.
78 cm. Large, glossy blue-black ibis. Adult has bald red head with white face. Long, red, decurved bill. Red legs and feet. Coppery patches on forewings. Wings long and elongated in flight, and beat rapidly in between gliding. Immature matt black, lacking any colour on head and bill. Similar spp. Smaller Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus has chestnut head. Voice Distinctive, high-pitched, turkey-like keeaaw-klaup-klaup. Hints Gregarious. Forages in flocks of up to 50 individuals.
ARKive. 2007. Southern bald ibis (Geronticus calvus). web page. Available at: http://www.arkive.org/southern-bald-ibis/geronticus-calvus/. (Accessed: 01/08/2013).
Barnes, K. N. 2000. The Eskom Red Data Book of birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.
Boshoff, A. and van Niekerk, M. 2007. Is the Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus re-colonising the North-eastern Cape, South Africa? Bee-eater 58(4): 62-64.
IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 November 2015).
van Rooyen, C. 2005. Bald Ibis: interactions with powerlines. Endangered Wildlife 54: 47-48.
Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species
Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Pilgrim, J., Shutes, S., Taylor, J., Allinson, T & Ashpole, J
IUCN Red List evaluators
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Geronticus calvus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/02/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/02/2016.
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
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Additional resources for this species
|Current IUCN Red List category||Vulnerable|
|Family||Threskiornithidae (Ibises, Spoonbills)|
|Species name author||(Boddaert, 1783)|
|Population size||4000 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||207,000 km2|
|Links to further information|
- Additional Information on this species|
- Projected distributions under climate change