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Agami Heron Agamia agami

Justification

Based on a model of future deforestation in the Amazon basin, and its susceptibility to hunting, it is suspected that the population of this species will decline rapidly over the next three generations, and it has therefore been uplisted to Vulnerable.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #http://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.html#.

Taxonomic note


Identification
60-76 cm. Large, rufous heron. Body mainly rufous, with a green back and  wings and a white throat. Other distinguishing features include long yellow bill, red iris and yellow legs.

Distribution and population
Agamia agami is a Neotropical species, and is generally scarce throughout its distribution. Its range extends from east Mexico in the north through Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. It was considered widespread and common in Panama in the 1960s, but is rare to the south in bordering Colombia. In the west, the species reaches north-west Ecuador (del Hoyo et al. 1992). To the east, the species occurs in French Guiana, where it is considered widespread; the largest known colony (c.2,000 pairs) was discovered here recently (Restall et al. 2006). A second, disjunct range spreads south-east from French Guiana, through Suriname and Guyana (del Hoyo et al. 1992). In Venezuela it is uncommon and very local, although recorded regularly in forest at Hato Piñeiro,  Hato Cedral, and the Camani area (Hilty 2003). In north and central Brazil, it is thought to be unusually common along the Rio Juruá, and likewise in south-east Peru. Its distribution spreads as far as east Bolivia (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Population justification
Partners in Flight estimate the total population to number 50,000-499,999 individuals (A. Panjabi in litt. 2008).

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 18.6-25.6% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (22 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). Given the susceptibility of the species to hunting and/or trapping, it is therefore suspected to decline by ≥30% over three generations.

Ecology
This species occurs in swampy stream and lake margins within tropical forest, and also in seasonal marshes. It tends to remain in lowlands under 300 m in elevation, but has been recorded at 2,600 m in Colombia's east Andes. Fish are its primary food source, with cichlids (Aequidens) and characins (Triportheus, Astyanax) recorded as prey. The breeding season appears to coincide with the arrival of rains; nest building occurs between June and September in both Costa Rica and Venezuela (del Hoyo et al. 1992). The species is semicolonial (Hilty 2003). Nests are built in a tree or bush 1-2 m above water (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Threats

The primary threat to this species is accelerating deforestation in the Amazon basin as land is cleared for cattle ranching and soy production, facilitated by expansion of the road network (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). It is also susceptible to hunting (A. Lees in litt. 2011).

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Expand the protected area network to effectively protect IBAs. Effectively resource and manage existing and new protected areas, utilising emerging opportunities to finance protected area management with the joint aims of reducing carbon emissions and maximizing biodiversity conservation. Conservation on private lands, through expanding market pressures for sound land management and preventing forest clearance on lands unsuitable for agriculture, is also essential (Soares-Filho et al. 2006).

References
Bird, J. P.; Buchanan, J. M.; Lees, A. C.; Clay, R. P.; Develey, P. F.; Yépez, I.; Butchart, S. H. M. 2011. Integrating spatially explicit habitat projections into extinction risk assessments: a reassessment of Amazonian avifauna incorporating projected deforestation. Diversity and Distributions: doi: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00843.x.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliot, A.; Sargatal, J. 1992. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 1: Ostrich to Ducks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

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

Restall, R.; Rodner, C.; Lentino, M. 2006. Birds of northern South America: an identification guide. Volume 1: species accounts. Christopher Helm, London.

Soares-Filho, B.S.; Nepstad, D.C.; Curran, L.M.; Cerqueira, G.C.; Garcia, R. A.; Ramos, C. A.; Voll, E.; McDonald, A.; Lefebvre, P.; Schlesinger, P. 2006. Modelling conservation in the Amazon basin. Nature 440(7083): 520-523.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Species factsheet from HeronConservation - The IUCN-SSC Heron Specialist Group

View photos and videos and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Symes, A.

Contributors
Lees, A., Panjabi, A.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Agamia agami. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/08/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/08/2014.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Agami heron (Agamia agami) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Ardeidae (Herons)
Species name author (Gmelin, 1789)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 7,840,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species