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Rusty-flanked Crake Laterallus levraudi
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Recent surveys have probably underestimated the size of this species's population, and its range may be much larger, but numbers are still likely to be very small and declining in response to a plethora of threats affecting wetlands within its range. It consequently qualifies as Endangered.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at:
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

14-18.5 cm. Small rail. Dark olive-brown above. Rufous head, ear-coverts, sides of neck and flanks. White underparts. Grey lores. Greenish-yellow bill and legs. Red eye. Female smaller than male. Immature duller with smaller bill and greyish legs. Similar spp. Two sympatric Laterallus species both have barred rear flanks. Uniform Crake Amaurolimnas concolor has rufous underparts. Voice Normally a 3-5 second (occasionally longer) churring rattle.

Distribution and population
Laterallus levraudi occurs on the lower Caribbean slope of north-west Venezuela, in eastern Zulia (V. Morón-Zambrano in litt. 2012), Barinas, Portuguesa, Falcón, Lara, Yaracuy, Carabobo, Aragua, Distrito Federal and Miranda. Until 1995, the only post-1946 records were from Yacambú (Lara), Morrocoy (Falcón) (Lentino and Goodwin 1991) and Embalse de Taguaiguai (Aragua). However, surveys in 1995-1996 identified seven new localities in east Falcón and west Carabobo (Boesman 1997). The first records for Barinas and Portuguesa were in 1998, with subsequent records from eastern Zulia (V. Morón-Zambrano in litt. 2012), and the species is now known from 32 localities (Sharpe et al. 2001, Hilty 2003, V. Morón-Zambrano in litt. 2012). It is probable that deforestation along the eastern flank of the Andes, together with the construction of dykes and pools for watering cattle, has allowed the species to spread southwards through Falcón, Yaracuy and Barinas (Sharpe et al. 2001).

Population justification
The known population at seven recently discovered sites in Lara and Falcón in 1996 was c.35-94 pairs (Boesman 1997). There are nearly 25 additional known sites, and further surveys are likely to discover additional localities, so the total population is probably several times the known figure (Boesman 1997, Sharpe et al. 2001, V. Morón-Zambrano in litt. 2012). Therefore, although the population at known sites was thought not to exceed 250 individuals in 2008 (Ascanio and Sharpe 2008), the total population is placed in the band 250-999 mature individuals, equating to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.

Trend justification
A slow and on-going population decline is suspected to be taking place owing to the continued loss and degradation of wetland habitats.

It inhabits dense, aquatic vegetation fringing marshes, lakesides, lagoons, swamps, flooded pastures and sometimes dry grassland, in the lowlands to 600 m, but with records to 1,400 m at Yacambú. In hilly country, it occurs in small ponds at least partly bordered by reeds and grasses and with some fringing vegetation or adjacent forested slopes. In more open country, it has been found in lakes, pools or marshes with rich or very dense, undisturbed aquatic vegetation. Several known areas are artificial ponds, and it seems to be able to survive in small roadside and pastureland water bodies as long as there is lush marginal vegetation (Boesman in litt. 2012, P. Clavijo Michelangeli in litt. 2012). In Zulia, it has been recorded from shrimp farms and drainage ditches (V. Morón-Zambrano in litt. 2012). It probably breeds in May-July, with young fledging in August-September (Boesman 1997).

Industrial waste, pesticides and lowering of water-levels are degrading wetland habitats. Falling water-levels in the mid-1980s are blamed for its disappearance from Embalse de Taguaiguai. Tourist development and pollution threaten the Morrocoy and Cuare areas (Ascanio and Sharpe 2008). Agriculture and deforestation are advancing around Canoabo Dam, and plans to increase the water-level at Guataparo Lake would inundate habitat (Boesman 1997).

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in Yacambú and Morrocoy National Parks. However, there are no significant wetland areas in Yacambú, where it inhabits a man-made pond. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey (in May-August, when birds are most vocal) to locate additional populations and reassess overall population size (Boesman 1997). Identify specific threats (Boesman 1997). Monitor known populations to determine trends (C. J. Sharpe, J. P. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez in litt. 1999). Assess its ecological requirements (Boesman 1997, C. J. Sharpe, J. P. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez in litt. 1999), in particular to determine the benefit to the species of artificial pools. Develop a conservation strategy (Boesman 1997, C. J. Sharpe, J. P. Rodríguez and F. Rojas-Suárez in litt. 1999). Manage important wetlands (e.g. Guataparo Lake, Tacarigua and Canoabo dams and San Pablo marsh) (Boesman 1997).

Ascanio, D. and Sharpe, C.J. 2008. Cotarita de costados castaños Laterallus levraudi. In: Rodríguez, J.P. and Rojas-Suárez, F. (eds), Libro rojo de la fauna venezolana. Tercera Edición, pp. 132. Provita & Shell Venezuela, S.A., Caracas, Venezuela.

Boesman, P. 1997. Recent observations of the Rusty-flanked Crake Laterallus levraudi. Cotinga: 39-42.

Collar, N. J.; Gonzaga, L. P.; Krabbe, N.; Madroño Nieto, A.; Naranjo, L. G.; Parker, T. A.; Wege, D. C. 1992. Threatened birds of the Americas: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Lentino, M.; Goodwin, M. L. 1991. Lista de las aves del Parque Nacional Morrocoy, Refugio de Fauna de Silvestre de Cuare y areas Aledaña, Estado Falcón, Venezuela. Sociedad Conservacionista Audubon de Venezuela, Caracas.

Sharpe, C. J.; Ascanio-Echeverría, D.; Rodríguez, G. A. 2001. Further range extensions and noteworthy records for Venezuelan birds. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 121: 50-62.

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

Further web sources of information
Detailed species account from the Threatened birds of the Americas: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 1992). Please note, taxonomic treatment and IUCN Red List category may have changed since publication.

Recuento detallado de la especie tomado del libro Aves Amenazadas de las Americas, Libro Rojo de BirdLife International (BirdLife International 1992). Nota: la taxonomo

Text account compilers
Sharpe, C J, Symes, A., Benstead, P. & Pilgrim, J.

Sharpe, C J, Rodríguez, J., Rojas-Suárez, F., Moron, V., Lentino, M., Boesman, P. & Clavijo Michelangeli, P.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Laterallus levraudi. Downloaded from on 13/07/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 13/07/2014.

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

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 Endangered
Family Rallidae (Rails, crakes and allies)
Species name author (Sclater & Salvin, 1868)
Population size 250-999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 19,500 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species