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Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala
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 Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type continent
shelf island
Average mass 3180 g


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 1,930,000 medium
Extent of Occurrence non-breeding (km2) 4,600,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 10000-17000 medium Estimated 1994
Population trend Decreasing poor -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 8.4 - - -
Population justification: Perennou et al. (1994) estimated populations of 15,000 individuals in south Asia, and fewer than 10,000 individuals in South-East Asia, thus there are estimated to be a total of 15,000-25,000 individuals in total, roughly equivalent to 10,000-17,000 mature individuals.
Trend justification: There are no data on population trends; however, the species is suspected to be declining at a moderately rapid rate, owing to hunting, drainage and pollution.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Bangladesh Native Extant   Yes    
Bhutan Native Extant       Yes
Cambodia Native Extant Yes      
China (mainland) Native Possibly Extinct   Yes    
India Native Extant Yes      
Laos Native Extant Yes      
Malaysia Vagrant Extant   Yes    
Myanmar Native Extant Yes      
Nepal Native Extant       Yes
Pakistan Native Extant Yes      
Singapore Introduced Extant        
Sri Lanka Native Extant Yes      
Thailand 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 Preah Net Preah / Kra Lanh / Pourk site factsheet
Cambodia Prek Toal site factsheet
India Bhashkarpara site factsheet
India Harike Lake Bird Sanctuary site factsheet
India Rangananthittu Bird Sanctuary site factsheet
India Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary site factsheet
Myanmar Gulf of Mottama site factsheet
Nepal Barandabhar forests and wetlands site factsheet
Nepal Bardia National Park site factsheet
Nepal Chitwan National Park site factsheet
Nepal Farmlands in Lumbini area site factsheet
Nepal Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and Koshi Barrage site factsheet
Nepal Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve site factsheet
Thailand Inner Gulf of Thailand site factsheet
Thailand Lower Central Basin site factsheet
Vietnam U Minh Thuong site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Aquatic & Marine Seasonally Flooded Agricultural Land suitable resident
Marine Coastal/Supratidal Coastal Brackish/Saline Lagoons/Marine Lakes 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
Altitude 0 - 0 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Human intrusions & disturbance Work & other activities Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Species disturbance
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Minority (<50%) Negligible declines No/Negligible Impact: 2
Hybridisation, Species mortality
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 Majority (50-90%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 5
Ecosystem degradation


Purpose Primary form used Life stage used Source Scale Level Timing
Pets Whole Adults and juveniles Wild Subsistence, National Non-trivial Recent
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: Mycteria leucocephala. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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 Ciconiidae (Storks)
Species name author (Pennant, 1769)
Population size 10000-17000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,930,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species