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Olive Ibis Bostrychia olivacea
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This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be small, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

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.

Taxonomic note
Bostrychia olivacea (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into B. olivacea and B. bocagei following Collar and Stuart (1985). Dwarf Olive Ibis Bostrychia bocagei of São Tomé differs from African Olive Ibis

Trend justification
The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations have unknown trends (Wetlands International 2006).

Behaviour This species is sedentary (del Hoyo et al. 1996). It breeds in solitary pairs (Brown et al. 1982) and usually forages alone, in pairs or in small flocks (del Hoyo et al. 1996) of 5-12 individuals (Brown et al. 1982), roosting at night in trees (Hancock et al. 1992). Habitat It inhabits dense lowland forest (del Hoyo et al. 1996), showing a preference for stands with little or no undergrowth and with large mature trees (Hancock et al. 1992) with dead tops for roosting in (Brown et al. 1982). It foraging in glades in open sections of forest (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and in swampy or marshy areas (Hancock et al. 1992, del Hoyo et al. 1996), also occurring along streams and rivers, in swamp-forest (del Hoyo et al. 1996), mangroves (Brown et al. 1982, del Hoyo et al. 1996), regenerating forest over abandoned plantations in Gabon (del Hoyo et al. 1996) and in montane forest up to the treeline (c.3,700 m) in Kenya and Tanzania (Hancock et al. 1992, del Hoyo et al. 1996). Diet Its diet is little known but includes adult and larval insects (e.g. beetles), worms, snails, snakes and occasionally plant matter (del Hoyo et al. 1996). Breeding site The nest is a platform of sticks constructed on a tree limb (del Hoyo et al. 1996) c.7.5 m above the ground (Brown et al. 1982). The species is also said to nest in holes in cliffs although this is unconfirmed (del Hoyo et al. 1996).


Brown, L. H.; Urban, E. K.; Newman, K. 1982. The birds of Africa vol I. Academic Press, London.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 1996. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 3: Hoatzin to Auks. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Hancock, J. A.; Kushlan, J. A.; Kahl, M. P. 1992. Storks, ibises and spoonbills of the world. Academic Press, London.

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

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Malpas, L.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Bostrychia olivacea. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

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 Threskiornithidae (Ibises, Spoonbills)
Species name author (Du Bus De Gisignies, 1838)
Population size 3000-45000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 802,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species