The IUCN-SCC Heron Specialist Group

Reddish Egret International Working Group

About the Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens):

Reddish Egret International Working GroupAs an inhabitant almost exclusively of coastal lagoons of the Gulf Coast states, the Reddish Egret is North America’s rarest and least known ardeid. This species was nearly extirpated from the United States by plume hunters prior to 1900. Since then, populations have recovered, and U.S. populations currently total about 2,000 pairs; less is known about numbers in Mexico or the Caribbean. The species is dimorphic: the dark morph predominates in the United States and Mexico, with the white morph more common in the Bahamas and Greater Antilles. The Reddish Egret is remarkable for its extremely active foraging behavior, employing running, hopping, flying, and open-wing techniques to locate and pursue schools of small fish across barren shallow flats.

About the Working Group:

The Working Group’s function is to act as a coordinating body to ensure an active and strategic approach to the conservation of the Reddish Egret. The Working Group brings together dedicated individuals from research institutions, non-governmental and governmental organizations. It comprises people from all Reddish Egret range states, as well as those offering additional required expertise and support.

The Group’s Vision:

The Reddish Egret International Working Group seeks to develop, support, and implement rangewide research and management efforts that promote the conservation of Reddish Egret and their habitats through individual and partnership-based initiatives guided by recommendations of the Working Group's membership.

Working Group Chair:

M. Clay Green, Professor of Biology
Director-Aquatic Resources & Integrative Biology Ph.D. Program
601 University Drive, Department of Biology, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX 78666
Office: (512) 245-8037

M. Clay Green serves as the Heron Specialist Group liaison for the Reddish Egret Working Group. Email: 


Reddish Egret International Working Group Website
Reddish Egret Conservation Action Plan, November 2014
Plan de Negocios para la Conservación de la Garza Rojiza en México, October 2018
Business Plan for Conservation of the Reddish Egret in the United States, December 2020
Conservation Action Plan for the Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) 2022 Update, March 2023