This species is listed as Vulnerable because it has a small population which is believed to be declining owing to habitat loss and degradation, with current rates of habitat loss leading to the projection of rapid population declines in the future.
Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Li
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.
78 cm. Large, glossy blue-black ibis. Adult has bald red head with white face. Long, red, decurved bill. Red legs and feet. Coppery patches on forewings. Wings long and elongated in flight, and beat rapidly in between gliding. Immature matt black, lacking any colour on head and bill. Similar spp. Smaller Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus has chestnut head. Voice Distinctive, high-pitched, turkey-like keeaaw-klaup-klaup. Hints Gregarious. Forages in flocks of up to 50 individuals.
Barnes, K. N. 2000. The Eskom Red Data Book of birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.
van Rooyen, C. 2005. Bald Ibis: interactions with powerlines. Endangered Wildlife 54: 47-48.
Boshoff, A. and van Niekerk, M. 2007. Is the Southern Bald Ibis Geronticus calvus re-colonising the North-eastern Cape, South Africa? Bee-eater 58(4): 62-64.
Further web sources of information
View photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection
Text account compilers
Allinson, T, Ekstrom, J., Pilgrim, J., Shutes, S., Taylor, J.
IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.
BirdLife International (2013) Species factsheet: Geronticus calvus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2013. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2013) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2013.
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
|Current IUCN Red List category||Vulnerable|
|Family||Threskiornithidae (Ibises and spoonbills)|
|Species name author||(Boddaert, 1783)|
|Population size||4000 mature individuals|
|Distribution size (breeding/resident)||207,000 km2|
|Links to further information|
- Additional Information on this species|
- Climate change species distributions