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Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

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
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals poor Estimated 2009
Population trend Unknown Not Applicable -
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 Resident
Afghanistan Native Extant       Yes
Algeria Native Extant Yes      
American Samoa Native Extant Yes      
Angola Native Extant       Yes
Australia Native Extant Yes      
Austria Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Azerbaijan Native Extant       Yes
Bangladesh Native Extant       Yes
Belgium Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Bhutan Native Extant       Yes
Botswana Native Extant       Yes
Burkina Faso Native Extant       Yes
Burundi Native Extant       Yes
Cambodia Native Extant       Yes
Cameroon Native Extant       Yes
Central African Republic Native Extant       Yes
Chad Native Extant       Yes
China (mainland) Native Extant       Yes
Congo Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the Native Extant       Yes
Côte d'Ivoire Native Extant       Yes
Croatia Native Extant       Yes
Cyprus Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Czech Republic Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Egypt Native Extant Yes      
Ethiopia Native Extant       Yes
Fiji Native Extant       Yes
France Native Extant Yes      
Gambia Native Extant       Yes
Germany Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Ghana Native Extant       Yes
Greece Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Guinea-Bissau Native Extant       Yes
Hong Kong (China) Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Hungary Vagrant Extant   Yes    
India Native Extant       Yes
Indonesia Native Extant       Yes
Iran, Islamic Republic of Native Extant       Yes
Iraq Native Extant       Yes
Israel Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Italy Native Extant       Yes
Jordan Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Kazakhstan Native Extant Yes      
Kenya Native Extant       Yes
Kuwait Native Extant       Yes
Laos Native Extant       Yes
Lebanon Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Lesotho Native Extant       Yes
Liberia Native Extant       Yes
Madagascar Native Extant       Yes
Malawi Native Extant       Yes
Malaysia Native Extant       Yes
Mali Native Extant       Yes
Mauritania Native Extant       Yes
Mauritius Native Extinct       Yes
Morocco Native Extant Yes      
Mozambique Native Extant       Yes
Myanmar Native Extant       Yes
Namibia Native Extant       Yes
Nepal Native Extant       Yes
New Caledonia (to France) Native Extant Yes      
New Zealand Native Extant Yes      
Niger Native Extant       Yes
Nigeria Native Extant       Yes
Niue (to New Zealand) Native Extant Yes      
Norway Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Oman Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Pakistan Native Extant       Yes
Palau Native Extant Yes      
Papua New Guinea Native Extant Yes      
Philippines Native Extant       Yes
Poland Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Portugal Native Extant       Yes
Qatar Native Extant       Yes
Russia Native Extant Yes      
Russia (European) Native Extant Yes      
Rwanda Native Extant       Yes
Samoa Native Extant Yes      
Senegal Native Extant       Yes
Sierra Leone Native Extant       Yes
Singapore Native Extant       Yes
Solomon Islands Native Extant Yes      
Somalia Vagrant Extant   Yes    
South Africa Native Extant       Yes
Spain Native Extant       Yes
Sri Lanka Native Extant       Yes
St Helena (to UK) Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Sudan Native Extant       Yes
Swaziland Native Extant       Yes
Syria Native Extant       Yes
Tanzania Native Extant       Yes
Thailand Native Extant       Yes
Timor-Leste Native Extant       Yes
Togo Native Extant       Yes
Tonga Native Extant Yes      
Tunisia Native Extant Yes      
Turkey Native Extant       Yes
Turkmenistan Native Extant Yes      
Uganda Native Extant       Yes
United Arab Emirates Native Extant       Yes
Vanuatu Native Extant Yes      
Vietnam Native Extant       Yes
Zambia Native Extant       Yes
Zimbabwe Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Azerbaijan Aggyol National Park site factsheet
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 site factsheet
Egypt Lake Manzala site factsheet
Egypt Wadi El Rayan Protected Area site factsheet
India Mangal Jodi site factsheet
Italy Cagliari wetlands site factsheet
Italy Casaraccio pool, Stintino saltpans and Pilo pool site factsheet
Italy Colostrai pool site factsheet
Italy Palmas Gulf wetlands site factsheet
Italy Sinis and Oristano wetlands 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 Lake 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 Guadalquivir 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
Sport hunting/specimen collecting - - - Subsistence, National
Pets/display animals, horticulture - - - Subsistence, National
Food - human - - - Subsistence, National

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Porphyrio porphyrio. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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 (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
- Projected distributions under climate change
- 2015 European Red List assessment