The IUCN-SCC Heron Specialist Group

Conservation Status of Heron Populations

HeronConservation assesses the conservation status of herons on a population basis. It differs from the IUCN assessment, which is on the species level. As a result of this scale difference, the results for populations of some species may not be identical to the results at a species level. To the extent possible, HeronConservation uses the criteria of the IUCN Red List as its guide, down scaled to the population level. You can find the species scale criteria at the IUCN Website. Assessments are only a good as the data underlying them, and for some populations that information base is slim to nonexistent. As a result many assessments are approximations based on the best professional judgment of those who know the populations best. You are welcome to contribute to increasing the accuracy of these assessments by providing data and analyses, preferably with reference to the IUCN evaluative criteria. Please communicate with a HeronConservation Co-chair or Steering Committee Member. HeronConservation will use such contributions in the next assessment process.

The 2012 Conservation Status of Heron Populations is given below. The categories in the Conservation Status of Heron Populations are the same as the IUCN list. Like all species, herons may be classified the following categories, LC = Least Concern, NT = Near Threatened, VU = Vulnerable, EN = Endangered, CR = Critically Endangered, EW = Extinct in the Wild, and EX = Extinct. More information on the meaning of these categories may be found on the IUCN Red List Categories & Criteria document.

Species Subspecies/ Population Population Range Pop. Conserv. Status
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) A.c.cinerea SubSahara Africa LC
A.c.cinerea W Europe, NW Africa LC
A.c.cinerea C & E Europe LC
A.c.cinerea C, SW Asia LC
A.c.cinerea S Asia LC
A.c.jouyi E Asia LC
A.c.jouyi Sumatra VU
A.c.monicae Mauritania VU
A.c.firasa Madagascar, Seychelles EN
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) A.h.herodias N, Central America LC
A.h.herodias W North America LC
A.h.herodias N Mexico LC
A.h.herodias Baja Mexico LC
A.h.fannini Alaska, W Canada LC
A.h.wardi North America LC
A.h.occidentalis Florida, Caribbean VU
A.h.occidentalis Caribbean VU
A.h.occidentalis Central America VU
A.h.cognata Galapagos LC
Cocoi Heron (Ardea cocoi) South America LC
White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica) Australia, Oceania LC
Great Egret (Ardea alba) A.a.alba Europe VU
A.a.alba SW Asia LC
A.a.melanorhynchos Tropical Africa LC
A.a.egretta North America LC
A.a.egretta Mexico LC
A.a.egretta Central America LC
A.a.egretta Caribbean LC
A.a.egretta South America LC
Eastern Great Egret (Ardea modesta) S Asia (nb) LC
E Asia (nb) LC
Indonesia LC
Australia LC
New Zealand VU
Intermediate Egret (Ardea intermedia) A.i.intermedia S Asia LC
A.i.intermedia E, SE Asia, C Japan, Indonesia LC
A.i.intermedia Indonesia LC
A.i.brachyrhyncha SubSahara Africa LC
A.i.plumifera E Indonesia, New Guinea, Australia LC
Black-headed Heron (Ardea melanocephala) Africa LC
Malagasy Heron (Ardea humbloti) Madagascar EN
White-bellied Heron (Ardea insignis) SE Asia CE
Sumatran Heron (Ardea sumatrana) SE Asia LC
Australia VU
Goliath Heron (Ardea goliath) SubSahara Africa LC
SW Asia EN
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) A.p.purpurea Tropical Africa LC
A.p.purpurea SW, NW Europe, NW Africa LC
A.p.purpurea C, E Europe, Mediterranean LC
A.p.purpurea SW Asia (br) LC
A.p.madagascariensis Madagascar VU
A.p.bournei Cape Verde Island EN
A.p.manilensis S Asia LC
A.p.manilensis SE, E Asia LC
Cattle Egret (Ardea ibis) A.i.ibis S Africa LC
A.i.ibis Tropical Africa LC
A.i.ibis NW Africa LC
A.i.ibis SW Europe LC
A.i.ibis E Mediterranean, SW LC
A.i.ibis Asia LC
A.i.ibis North America (USA, Canada) LC
A.i.ibis Mexico LC
A.i.ibis Central America LC
A.i.ibis Caribbean LC
A.i.ibis South America LC
A.i.seychellarum Seychelles LC
A.i.coromandus S Asia LC
A.i.coromandus E, Se Asia LC
A.i.coromandus Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea LC
Green Heron (Butorides virescens) B. virescens C, E North America LC
B. virescens Mexico LC
B. virescens Central America LC
B. virescens Caribbean LC
B. virescens Bermuda VU
B.v.bahamensis Bahamas LC
B.v.anthonyi W North America, N Baja California LC
B.v.frazari S Baja California LC
Striated Heron (Butorides striata) B.s.striata Central America (Panama), N South America LC
B.s.striata C South America LC
B.s.striata Bolivia LC
B.s.sundevalli Galapagos LC
B.s.brevipes E Africa, SW Asia LC
B.s.atricapilla SubSahara Africa LC
B.s.rutenbergi Madagascar LC
B.s.rhizophorae Comoro Islands LC
B.s.crawfordi Aldabra, Amirante LC
B.s.degens Seychelles LC
B.s.albolimbata Chagos Islands, Maldives, Diego Garcia VU
B.s.chloriceps India LC
B.s.spodiogaster W Sumatra, Andaman, Nicobar LC
B.s.amurensis NE China, SE Russia, Korea, Japan, Ryukyu, Bonin, Taiwan, S China LC
B.s.actophila S China, N Indonesia, N Myanmar LC
B.s.javanica W Indonesia, Indian Ocean, Myanmar, Thailand LC
B.s.moluccara Moluccas LC
B.s.moluccara NW New Guinea, Aru LC
B.s.solomonensis New Ireland, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, W Fiji LC
B.s.idenburgi W Papua LC
B.s.flyensis S New Guinea LC
B.s.stagnatilis N Australia LC
B.s.stagnatilis NW Australia LC
B.s.stagnatilis NE Western Australia LC
B.s.patruelis Tahiti, Society LC
B.s.macrorhyncha E Australia LC
B.s.macrorhyncha SC New Guinea, NE Queensland LC
B.s.carcinophila Taiwan, Philippines, Sulawesi LC
B.s.steini Lesser Sundras, Indonesia LC
Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) A.r.ralloides SW Europe, NW Africa LC
A.r.ralloides C, E Europe, E Mediterranean LC
A.r.ralloides SW Asia LC
A.r.paludivaga SubSahara Africa, Madagascar LC
Indian Pond Heron (Ardeola grayii) SW Asia S Asia LC
Myanmar, Andaman, Nicobar LC
Maldives VU
Chinese Pond Heron (Ardeola bacchus) E, SE, S Asia LC
Javan Pond Heron (Ardeola speciosa) A.s.speciosa W C Indonesia, S Philippines LC
A.s.continentalis C Thailand, S Indochina LC
Malagasy Pond Heron (Ardeola idae) Madagascar, Aldabra, E Africa EN
Rufous Bellied Heron (Ardeola rufiventris) E & S Africa LC
Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) E.r.rufescens S USA VU
E.r.rufescens Mexico VU
E.r.rufescens Central America VU
E.r.rufescens Caribbean VU
E.r.rufescens N South America VU
E.r.dickeyi San Luis Island, W Mexico VU
Pied Heron (Egretta picata) Oceania LC
Slaty Egret (Egretta vinaceigula) C Africa VU
Black Heron (Egretta ardesiaca) SubSahara Africa LC
Madagascar NT
Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) E.t.tricolor N South America LC
E.t.ruficollis USA LC
E.t.ruficollis Mexico LC
E.t.ruficollis Central America LC
E.t.ruficollis Caribbean LC
White-faced Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae) E.n.novaehollandiae New Zealand, Australia, New Guinea, E Indonesia LC
E.n. parryi NW Australia LC
Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) North America LC
Mexico LC
Central America LC
Caribbean LC
South America LC
Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) E.t.thula Central and North America LC
E.t.brewsteri W North America, Baja California LC
E.t.thula Mexico LC
E.t.thula Central America LC
E.t.thula Caribbean LC
E.t.thula South America LC
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) E.g.garzetta SubSahara Africa LC
E.g.garzetta W Europe, NW Africa LC
E.g.garzetta C, E Europe LC
E.g.garzetta Barbados VU
E.g.garzetta W Asia LC
E.g.garzetta S Asia LC
E.g.garzetta E SE Asia LC
E.g.nigripes Java, New Guinea LC
E.g.immaculata Australia, New Zealand LC
E.g.gularis W Africa LC
E.g.schistacea NE Africa, Red Sea LC
E.g.schistacea SW Asia LC
E.g.dimorpha Madagascar LC
E.g.dimorpha Aldabra, Amirante LC
E.g.dimorpha E Africa LC
Chinese Egret (Egretta eulophotes) E Asia VU
Eastern Reef Heron (Egretta sacra) E.s.sacra SE Asia, Andaman, Nicobar, China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Philippines LC
E.s.albolineata New Caledonia, Loyalty LC
Whistling Heron (Syrigma sibilatrix) S.s.sibilatrix South America LC
S.s.fostersmithi South America LC
Capped Heron (Pilherodius pileatus) South America LC
Yellow-crowned Night Heron (Nyctinassa violacea) N.v.violacea North America LC
N.v.violacea Mexico, Central America LC
N.v.violacea Socorro, W Mexico LC
N.v.calignis Panama, W South America LC
N.v.cayennensis Colombia, NE, E Brazil LC
N.v.bancrofti W Mexico to El Salvador, West Indies LC
N.v.pauper Galapagos LC
Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) N.n.nycticorax W Europe, NW Africa LC
N.n.nycticorax C, E Europe, E. Mediterranean LC
N.n.nycticorax C Asia LC
N.n.nycticorax SubSahara Africa, Madagascar LC
N.n.nycticorax S Asia LC
N.n.nycticorax E, SE Asia LC
N.n.nycticorax North America LC
N.n.nycticorax Mexico LC
N.n.nycticorax Central America LC
N.n.nycticorax Caribbean LC
N.n.nycticorax South America LC
N.n.obscurus S South America LC
N.n.falklandicus Falklands-Malvinas LC
Reunion Night Heron (Nycticorax duboisi) Reunion EX
Mauritius Night Heron (Nycticorax mauritianus) Mauritius EX
Rodrigues Night Heron (Nycticorax megacephalus) Rodrigues EX
Rufous Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus) N.c.caledonicus New Caledonia LC
N.c.manillensis Philippines, NE Borneo, Sulawesi LC
N.c.pelewensis Palau, Carolines LC
N.c.mandibularis Bismarck, Solomons LC
N.c.hilli Java, Australia, New Guinea LC
White-backed Night Heron (Nycticorax leuconotus) W Africa LC
White-eared Night Heron (Gorsachius magnificus) China EN
Vietnam EN
Japanese Night Heron (Gorsachius goisagi) S Japan; nb: Ryukyu, SE China, Philippines EN
Malayan Night Heron (Gorsachius melanolophus) G.m.melanolophus SW India LC
G.m.melanolophus Indochina, SW China LC
G.m.melanolophus Philippines LC
G.m.melanolophus Palauan, Philippines LC
G.m.melanolophus Nicobar LC
South American Bittern (Botaurus pinnatus) B.p.pinneatus Central America, N South America LC
B.p.caribaeus E. Mexico, Belize LC
North American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) North America LC
European Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) B.s.stellaris W Europe, NW Africa LC
B.s.stellaris C E Europe, E Mediterranean LC
B.s.stellaris W C Asia ( nb) LC
B.s.stellaris C Asia (nb) LC
B.s.stellaris S, E Asia LC LC
Australasian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) B.s.capensis S Africa EN
B.s.capensis Australia VU
B.s.capensis Tasmania VU
B.s.capensis New Zealand EN
B.s.capensis New Caledonia, Loyalty EN
Streaked Bittern (Ixobrychus involucris) N South America LC
S South America LC
Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) I.e.exilis N, Central America, Caribbean LC
I.e.pullus Sonora, NW Mexico LC
I.e.bogotensis Colombia LC
I.e.erythromelas N South America to Paraguay LC
I.e.peruvianus C W Peru LC
Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) I.m.minutus W Europe, NW Africa VU
I.m.minutus C, E Europe, NE Africa LC
I.m.minutus W, SW Asia LC
I.m.minutus S Asia LC
I.m.payesii SubSahara Africa LC
I.m.podiceps Madagascar VU
I.m.dubius SW, E Australia, New Guinea LC
I.m.novaezelandiae Australasia EX
Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) Seychelles LC
S Asia LC
E, SE Asia LC
Schrenck’s Bittern (Ixobrychus eurhythmus) E, SE Asia LC
Cinnamon Bittern (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus) S Asia LC
SE Asia, Taiwan, S Japan LC
Dwarf Bittern (Ixobrychus sturmii) SubSahara Africa LC
Black Bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis) I.f.flavicollis S Asia LC
I.f.flavicollis E, SE Asia LC
I.f.australis Australia, New Guinea, Bismarck VU
I.f.australis Timor LC
I.f.australis Runnell LC
I.f.woodfordi New Britain, New Ireland LC
I.f.australis Solomon LC
Zigzag Heron (Zibrillus undulatus) South America LC
Bare-throated Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum) T.m.mexicanum C & N South America LC
T.m.mexicanum Sonora, S. Mexico LC
Fasciated Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma fasciatum) T.f.fasciatum SE Brazil, NE Argentina LC
T.f.salmoni C. America, NW, W South America LC
T.f.pallescens NW Argentina LC
Rufescent Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma lineatum) T.l.lineatum W Mexico, W Ecuador, N Bolivia, E Brazil LC
T.l.marmoratum C Bolivia, E Brazil, NE Argentina LC
New Guinea Tiger Heron (Zonerodius heliosylus) New Guinea, New Britain NT
White-crested Tiger Heron (Tigriornis leucolophus) W Africa LC
Agami Heron (Agamia agami) Central, South America LC
Boat-billed Heron (Cochlearius cochlearius) C.c.cochlearius E Panama, Guyana, Amazonia, NE Argentina LC
C.c.zeledoni W Central Mexico LC
C.c.phillipsi E Mexico, Belize LC
C.c.ridgwayi S Mexico, W Honduras, El Salvador LC
C.c.panamensis Costa Rica, Panama LC