The IUCN-SCC Heron Specialist Group

Heron Red List

The Heron Red List (Version 2021-3) is shown below.

This authority for the global classification of the conservation status of species is the IUCN. It is published periodically as the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. BirdLife International is the listing authority for birds. HeronConservation partners with BirdLife International on its periodic assessments for herons. The Heron Red List is 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 in the IUCN Red List Categories & Criteria document.

The IUCN process is conducted at the species level, whereas HeronConservation does its assessments at a population level. So for some species the classification of a species may differ from that of one or more of its populations. For information on the listing assessment process, please see the IUCN Website.

The IUCN Assessment in some cases identifies species, uses a listing order, and uses scientific and English names that are at times deviant from those used by HeronConservation. There are a number of reasons for these differences, mainly that HeronConservation, being concerned only with one group of species can tracks and implement changes within its group more readily, whereas IUCN needs to maintain a more conservative approach to such changes across its periodic assessments and needs to maintain a common global process. As there is not a problem in identifying which species is being referred to, HeronConservation has chosen to retain the IUCN order and names to maintain its consistency with the Global Red List.

HeronConservation will continue to partner with BirdLife in its evaluation of the status of heron species. You are welcome to participate in this process by communicating your data and information to the HeronConservation Co-chairs or Steering Committee Members.

Status Trend Scientific Name English Name
Extinct Ixobrychus novaezelandiae New Zealand Little Bittern
Nycticorax duboisi Reunion Night-heron
Nycticorax mauritianus Mauritius Night-heron
Nycticorax megacephalus Rodrigues Night-heron
Nyctanassa carcinocatactes Bermuda Night-heron
Critically Endangered Decreasing Ardea insignis White-bellied Heron
Endangered Decreasing Ardea occidentalis Great White Heron
Botaurus poiciloptilus Australasian Bittern
Oroanassa magnificus White-eared Night-heron
Ardea humbloti Madagascar Heron
Ardeola idae Madagascar Pond-heron
Vulnerable Decreasing Egretta eulophotes Chinese Egret
Egretta vinaceigula Slaty Egret
Gorsachius goisagi Japanese Night-heron
Unknown Agamia agami Agami Heron
Near Threatened Decreasing Zebrilus undulatus Zigzag Heron
Egretta rufescens Reddish Egret
Zonerodius heliosylus Forest Bittern
Least Concern Increasing Bubulcus ibis Cattle Egret
Ardea herodias Great Blue Heron
Ardea melanocephala Black-headed Heron
Egretta thula Snowy Egret
Egretta garzetta Little Egret
Stable Ixobrychus involucris Stripe-backed Bittern
Ixobrychus exilis Least Bittern
Ixobrychus cinnamomeus Cinnamon Bittern
Nycticorax caledonicus Rufous Night-heron
Nyctanassa violacea Yellow-crowned Night-heron
Ardeola bacchus Chinese Pond-heron
Botaurus pinnatus Pinnated Bittern
Ardea pacifica White-necked Heron
Ardea goliath Goliath Heron
Ardea cocoi Cocoi Heron
Egretta picata Pied Heron
Egretta ardesiaca Black Heron
Egretta tricolor Tricolored Heron
Egretta gularis Western Reef-egret
Egretta sacra Pacific Reef-egret
Decreasing Tigriornis leucolopha White-crested Tiger-heron
Tigrisoma mexicanum Bare-throated Tiger-heron
Pilherodius pileatus Capped Heron
Cochlearius cochlearius Boat-billed Heron
Botaurus stellaris Eurasian Bittern
Botaurus lentiginosus American Bittern
Ixobrychus minutus Common Little Bittern
Ixobrychus dubius Australian Little Bittern
Ixobrychus eurhythmus Schrenck's Bittern
Ixobrychus flavicollis Black Bittern
Calherodius leuconotus White-backed Night-heron
Nycticorax nycticorax Black-crowned Night-heron
Butorides striata Green-backed Heron
Ardea sumatrana Great-billed Heron
Ardea purpurea Purple Heron
Ardea intermedia Intermediate Egret
Ardea brachyrhyncha Yellow-billed Egret
Ardea plumifera Plumed Egret
Egretta caerulea Little Blue Heron
Unknown Tigrisoma lineatum Rufescent Tiger-heron
Tigrisoma fasciatum Fasciated Tiger-heron
Ixobrychus sinensis Yellow Bittern
Ixobrychus sturmii Dwarf Bittern
Gorsachius melanolophus Malay Night-heron
Ardeola ralloides Squacco Heron
Ardeola grayii Indian Pond-heron
Ardeola speciosa Javan Pond-heron
Ardeola rufiventris Rufous-bellied Heron
Ardea cinerea Grey Heron
Ardea alba Great White Egret
Syrigma sibilatrix Whistling Heron
Egretta novaehollandiae White-faced Heron