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 Fulica caribaea

This taxon is Not Recognised as a species by BirdLife International.

Taxonomic source(s)
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Taxonomic note
Fulica americana (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously split as F. americana and F. caribaea following Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993).

Distribution and population
Fulica caribaea is an uncommon and local resident in northern Venezuela (especially eastern Falcon), on Haiti, Dominican Republic (where it has declined markedly during the last century, mirrored throughout the region) and Puerto Rico (to USA), and a rare resident on Jamaica, British Virgin Islands (to UK), US Virgin Islands (to USA) and Colombia (Taylor 1996, Raffaele et al. 1998, Keith et al. 2003, Hilty 2003). It is a rare wanderer in the Lesser Antilles with a few recent breeding records on Martinique (to France) and Guadeloupe (to France), regular recent breeding on Antigua and Barbuda (Antigua) (Prins et al. 2005), and breeding is also suspected on Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago (Ffrench 1992, Raffaele et al. 1998). It formerly bred on St Kitts and Nevis, but is now only an uncommon migrant, and it is a very rare non-breeding transient on Cuba with other records from Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands (to UK), Montserrat (to UK), St Lucia, Grenada, Dominica, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla (to UK), north-west Venezuela and Netherlands Antilles (Curaçao) (Meyer de Schauensee and Phelps 1978, Ffrench 1992, Taylor 1996, Keith et al. 2003). The population in the Dominican Republic is estimated at a minimum of 5,000-10,000 individuals (D. Wege in litt. 2010), though the global population size is unknown.

It is found on freshwater lakes, ponds, marshes and less frequently coastal brackish lagoons from lowlands to 1,350 m in Venezuela (C. J. Sharpe in litt. 2011), and in similar habitats elsewhere.

It has suffered a marked decline throughout the Caribbean as a result of hunting pressures (including the taking of eggs for local consumption), habitat degradation and introduced predators (Raffaele et al. 1998). Recent research suggests that these threats have not abated, recording drainage or land reclamation as the most common threat, closely followed by hunting (including egg collection) and pollution. Only at four sites out of 49 were there no recorded threats (Nijman in press).

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct a thorough population survey throughout its range. Conduct a public education campaign to discourage draining of wetlands and hunting of wetland birds. Provide alternatives to taking eggs and adults from the wild. Monitor populations at key sites throughout the region. Prioritise the protection of small wetland sites (Nijman 2010).

ffrench, R. 1992. A guide to the birds of Trinidad and Tobago. Christopher Helm, London.

Hilty, S. L. 2003. Birds of Venezuela. A&C Black, London.

Keith, A. R.; Wiley, J. W.; Latta, S. C.; Ottenwalder, J. A. 2003. The birds of Hispaniola: Haiti and the Dominican Republic. British Ornithologists' Union, Tring, UK.

Meyer de Schauensee, R.; Phelps, W. H. 1978. A guide to the birds of Venezuela. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Nijman, V. 2010. The importance of small wetlands for the conservation of the endemic Caribbean Coot Fulica caribaea. Caribbean Journal of Science.

Nijman, V.; Aliabadian, M.; Debrot A. O.; de Freitas, J. A.; Gomes, L. G. L.; Prins, T. G.; Vonk, R. 2008. Conservation status of Caribbean coot Fulica caribaea in the Netherlands Antilles and other parts of the Caribbean. Endangered Species Research 4(3): 241-246.

Prins, T. G.; Roselaar, K.; Nijman, V. 2005. Status and breeding of Caribbean Coot in the Netherlands Antilles. Waterbirds 28: 146-149.

Raffaele, H.; Wiley, J.; Garrido, O.; Keith, A.; Raffaele, J. 1998. Birds of the West Indies. Christopher Helm, London.

Taylor, P. B. 1996. Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules and Coots). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 108-209. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Further web sources of information
View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Calvert, R., Capper, D., Mahood, S., Sharpe, C J

Sharpe, C J

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Fulica caribaea. Downloaded from on 02/07/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 02/07/2015.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Caribbean coot (Fulica caribaea) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Not Recognised
Family Rallidae (Rails, Gallinules, Coots)
Species name author Ridgway, 1884