This huge African bustard is suspected to be undergoing moderately rapid population declines across much of its range owing to a variety of threats including collisions with power lines, hunting and habitat degradation. It has consequently been uplisted to Near Threatened.
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.
Collisions with high voltage power lines are a major threat in the Karoo of South Africa and in Namibia, and presumably elsewhere where there are power lines within the range (J. Shaw and R. Coetzee in litt. 2013). Declines in Tanzania can probably be attributed to trade in the species during the 1990s and 2000s (N. Cordeiro in litt. 2013). There is also anecdotal information from South Africa indicating that the species is used in the muti (traditional medicine) trade, hunted for bush meat, and illegally kept as pets (R. Coetzee in litt. 2013). The causes of population declines and range losses in many parts of the distribution are unknown, but have been hypothesised to include persecution, rangeland degradation and shrub encroachment (Senyatso et al. 2012). In Botswana, unregulated hunting appears to be a genuine threat while cattle-induced bush encroachment is not (Senyatso 2011).
Conservation and research actions underway
CITES Appendix II. The species is legally protected in many range states.
Conservation and research actions proposed
Continue to raise awareness to stop hunting for bushmeat and traditional medicine, and to encourage the public to report mortality from power lines. All new infrastructure (power lines, wind turbines) should be sited and mitigated appropriately, and dangerous sections of line should be retrofitted with appropriate mitigation. Carry out further research into mitigation measures for power line collisions.
Barnes, K. N. 2000. The Eskom Red Data Book of birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.
del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Senyatso, K. J. 2011. Conserving widely distributed wildlife species in an African savanna: parks, cattle-grazing and community- managed areas. PhD thesis. University of East Anglia.
Senyatso, K. J.; Collar, N. J.; Dolman, P. M. 2012. Assessing range-wide conservation status change in an unmonitored widespread African bird species. Diversity and Distributions 19(2): 106-119.
Shaw, J. M. 2013. Power line collisions in the Karoo: Conserving Ludwig"s Bustard. PhD thesis. University of Cape Town.
Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species
Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Symes, A.
Coetzee, R., Shaw, J. & Cordeiro, N.
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Ardeotis kori. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/12/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/12/2014.
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||Near Threatened|
|Species name author||(Burchell, 1822)|
|Population size||Unknown mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||3,570,000 km2|
|Links to further information|
- Additional Information on this species|
- Projected distributions under climate change