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Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List Criteria

Near Threatened (criteria nearly met) A2bcd+3bcd+4bcd 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Near Threatened
2008 Near Threatened
2006 Near Threatened
2004 Near Threatened
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Low
Land mass type continent
shelf island
Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 7,230,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 22000 medium Estimated 2006
Population trend Decreasing poor -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 8.8 - - -
Population justification: The population is estimated to number at least 22,000 mature individuals, roughly equvialent to over 33,000 individuals in total.
Trend justification: This species is suspected to be in moderately rapid decline, owing to pollution, drainage and hunting.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Bangladesh Native Extant Yes      
Brunei Native Extant Yes      
Cambodia Native Extant Yes      
India Native Extant Yes      
Indonesia Native Extant Yes      
Laos Native Extant   Yes    
Malaysia Vagrant Extant Yes      
Myanmar Native Extant Yes      
Nepal Native Extant Yes      
Pakistan Native Extant Yes      
Palau Unknown Extant       Yes
Philippines Native Extant       Yes
Sri Lanka Native Extant Yes      
Thailand Native Extinct   Yes    
Timor-Leste Native Extant       Yes
Vietnam Native Extant Yes      

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Cambodia Boeung Chhmar / Moat Khla site factsheet
Cambodia Lower Stung Sen site factsheet
Cambodia Prek Toal site factsheet
India Bhashkarpara site factsheet
India Harike Lake Bird Sanctuary site factsheet
India Watrap Periakulam and Virakasamuthrakulam site factsheet
Indonesia Muara Gembong-Tanjung Sedari site factsheet
Indonesia Pulau Dua site factsheet
Indonesia Rawa Tulang Bawang site factsheet
Indonesia Tanjung Puting site factsheet
Myanmar Ayeyarwady River: Myitkyina to Sinbo Section site factsheet
Myanmar Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary and surroundings site factsheet
Myanmar Tanai River site factsheet
Nepal Barandabhar forests and wetlands site factsheet
Nepal Bardia National Park site factsheet
Nepal Chitwan National Park site factsheet
Nepal Ghodaghodi Lake site factsheet
Nepal Jagdishpur Reservoir site factsheet
Nepal Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Koshi Barrage site factsheet
Nepal Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve site factsheet
Sri Lanka Yala site factsheet
Thailand Ban Khlong Marakor Tai site factsheet
Vietnam Bac Lieu site factsheet
Vietnam Ca Mau site factsheet
Vietnam Chua Hang site factsheet
Vietnam Yok Don site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level major resident
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes suitable resident
Marine Neritic Estuaries suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha) suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls) suitable resident
Wetlands (inland) Permanent Saline, Brackish or Alkaline Lakes suitable resident
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Biological resource use Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals / Intentional use (species is the target) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Species mortality
Human intrusions & disturbance Work & other activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species disturbance
Natural system modifications Dams & water management/use / Abstraction of surface water (domestic use) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation
Pollution Agricultural & forestry effluents / Type Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Slow, Significant Decline Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation


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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Anhinga melanogaster. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

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 Near Threatened
Family Anhingidae (Darters)
Species name author Pennant, 1769
Population size 22000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 7,230,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species