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Secretary Bird (Sagittarius serpentarius) Fact Sheet: Population & Conservation Status

Population Status

Population estimates

  • 6,700-67,000 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2016)
    • Local surveys available, but no detailed global population surveys

Conservation Status

IUCN Status

  • Vulnerable (2016 assessment) (BirdLife International 2016)

CITES Status

Threats to Survival

Habiat loss and disturbance

  • Burning of grasslands
    • Loss of prey
  • Spreading cultivation and urbanization

Interactions with humans

  • Disturb nest sites (esp. herders)
  • Collisions with cars, utility lines, and aircraft

Wildlife trade

  • Traded in small numbers

Other potential threats

  • Hunting
  • Nest-raiding
  • Consuming poisoned carrion and water
  • Drought

Management Actions

From IUCN (2013):

Conservation Actions Underway

  • Listing on CITES Appendix II
  • Presence in national parks and protected ares

Conservation Actions Proposed

  • Africa-wide monitoring program
  • Obtain up-to-date population counts, track trends
  • Where declining, raise awareness among local peoples, esp. livestock herders
  • Monitor trade

Secretary Bird

body of a Secretary Bird

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Herholdt  (2006)
Steyn (1982)

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