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Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
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 not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type   Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 18,400,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 18,400,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Unknown -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 5.9 - - -
Trend justification: The overall population trend is uncertain, as some populations are decreasing, while others are increasing, stable, or have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Afghanistan Native Extant      
Algeria Native Extant Yes    
American Samoa Native Extant Yes    
Angola Native Extant      
Australia Native Extant Yes    
Austria Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Azerbaijan Native Extant      
Bangladesh Native Extant      
Belgium Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Bhutan Native Extant      
Botswana Native Extant      
Burkina Faso Native Extant      
Burundi Native Extant      
Cambodia Native Extant      
Cameroon Native Extant      
Central African Republic Native Extant      
Chad Native Extant      
China (mainland) Native Extant      
Congo Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant      
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant      
Croatia Native Extant      
Cyprus Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Czech Republic Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Egypt Native Extant Yes    
Ethiopia Native Extant      
Fiji Native Extant      
France Native Extant Yes    
Gambia Native Extant      
Germany Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Ghana Native Extant      
Greece Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant      
Hong Kong (China) Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Hungary Vagrant Extant   Yes  
India Native Extant      
Indonesia Native Extant      
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant      
Iraq Native Extant      
Israel Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Italy Native Extant      
Jordan Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes    
Kenya Native Extant      
Kuwait Native Extant      
Laos Native Extant      
Lebanon Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Lesotho Native Extant      
Liberia Native Extant      
Madagascar Native Extant      
Malawi Native Extant      
Malaysia Native Extant      
Mali Native Extant      
Mauritania Native Extant      
Mauritius Native Extinct      
Morocco Native Extant Yes    
Mozambique Native Extant      
Myanmar Native Extant      
Namibia Native Extant      
Nepal Native Extant      
New Caledonia (to France) Native Extant Yes    
New Zealand Native Extant Yes    
Niger Native Extant      
Nigeria Native Extant      
Niue (to New Zealand) Native Extant Yes    
Norway Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Oman Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Pakistan Native Extant      
Palau Native Extant Yes    
Papua New Guinea Native Extant Yes    
Philippines Native Extant      
Poland Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Portugal Native Extant      
Qatar Native Extant      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes    
Rwanda Native Extant      
Samoa Native Extant Yes    
Senegal Native Extant      
Sierra Leone Native Extant      
Singapore Native Extant      
Solomon Islands Native Extant Yes    
Somalia Vagrant Extant   Yes  
South Africa Native Extant      
Spain Native Extant      
Sri Lanka Native Extant      
St Helena (to UK) Vagrant Extant   Yes  
Sudan Native Extant      
Swaziland Native Extant      
Syria Native Extant      
Tanzania Native Extant      
Thailand Native Extant      
Timor-Leste Native Extant      
Togo Native Extant      
Tonga Native Extant Yes    
Tunisia Native Extant Yes    
Turkey Native Extant      
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes    
Uganda Native Extant      
United Arab Emirates Native Extant      
Vanuatu Native Extant Yes    
Vietnam Native Extant      
Zambia Native Extant      
Zimbabwe Native Extant      

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Azerbaijan Lake Sarysu site factsheet
Azerbaijan Shorgel lakes/Shirvan reserve site factsheet
Burkina Faso Béli River site factsheet
Burkina Faso Lake Oursi - Lake Darkoye site factsheet
Egypt Lake Burullus Protected Area site factsheet
Egypt Lake Manzala site factsheet
Egypt Wadi El Rayan Protected Area site factsheet
India Mangal Jodi site factsheet
Malawi Lake Chilwa and flood-plain site factsheet
Mali Lac Débo - Lac Oualado Débo site factsheet
Mauritania Gâat Mahmoûdé site factsheet
Mauritania Lac d'Aleg site factsheet
Mauritania Lac de Mâl site factsheet
Mauritania Rkîz site factsheet
Mauritania Sawana - Oum Lellé site factsheet
Myanmar Indawgyi Wildlife Sanctuary and surroundings site factsheet
Niger Kokoro wetland site factsheet
Nigeria Hadejia-Nguru wetlands site factsheet
Portugal Lagoa Pequena site factsheet
Portugal Paul do Boquilobo site factsheet
Portugal Pera marsh site factsheet
Portugal Ria Formosa (Faro lagoon) site factsheet
Portugal Santo André and Sancha lagoons site factsheet
Portugal Vilamoura site factsheet
Russia (European) Chechen' Island and east seaside of Agrakhan peninsula site factsheet
Senegal Djoudj wetlands site factsheet
Senegal Niayes (from Dakar to St Louis) site factsheet
Spain Albufera de Mallorca and Albufereta de Pollença marshes site factsheet
Spain Ampurdán marshes site factsheet
Spain Castrejón reservoir site factsheet
Spain Cortados del Jarama site factsheet
Spain Ebro delta site factsheet
Spain El Moro marshes site factsheet
Spain Lebrija, Las Cabezas and Espera lagoons site factsheet
Spain Marmolejo reservoir-La Ropera site factsheet
Spain Medina and Puerto Real lagoons site factsheet
Spain Middle section of river Guadalquivir reservoirs site factsheet
Spain Wetlands at south Córdoba site factsheet
Turkey Göksu Delta site factsheet
Turkey Kızılırmak Delta site factsheet
Turkey Seyhan Delta site factsheet
Vietnam U Minh Thuong site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Wastewater Treatment Areas suitable resident
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Water Storage Areas (over 8ha) suitable resident
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Freshwater Lakes suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha) suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 2500 m Occasional altitudinal limits  


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Food (human) Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild International Non-trivial Recent
Sport Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Porphyrio porphyrio. Downloaded from on 19/04/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 19/04/2014.

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 Least Concern
Family Rallidae (Rails, crakes and allies)
Species name author (Linnaeus, 1758)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 18,400,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Climate change species distributions