Porphyrio martinicus - (Linnaeus, 1766)
Purple Gallinule
Other English Common Names: purple gallinule
Other Common Names: Frango-d´Água-Azul
Synonym(s): Porphyrio martinica (Linnaeus, 1766) ;Porphyrula martinica (Linnaeus, 1766)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Porphyrio martinica (Linnaeus, 1766) (TSN 707815)
French Common Names: Talève violacée
Spanish Common Names: Gallineta Morada, Pollona Azul
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102049
Element Code: ABNME12010
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
Image 11128

© Jeff Nadler

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Gruiformes Rallidae Porphyrio
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 2002. Forty-third supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. The Auk 119(3):897-906.
Concept Reference Code: A02AOU01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Porphyrio martinica
Taxonomic Comments: Appears to constitute a superspecies with P. alleni (AOU 1998). David and Gosselin (2011) have shown that the specific name, previously treated as a noun in apposition, is really a geographical adjective based on the place name "Martinique", necessitating a change in gender ending (AOU 2012).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2014
Global Status Last Changed: 25Nov1996
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Widespread with no evidence of significant population declines throughout most of its range.
Nation: United States
National Status: N4N,N5B (19Mar1997)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S2B), Arkansas (S1B), Florida (S4), Georgia (S4), Louisiana (S4B), Mississippi (S2B), Navajo Nation (SNR), New Jersey (SNA), New York (SNRN), North Carolina (SHB), Oklahoma (S1), South Carolina (S4), Tennessee (S1B), Texas (S4B)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: locally in interior of eastern U.S. in southern Illinois (formerly), w. Tennessee, and central Ohio, and primarily in lowlands, from Nayarit and Delaware-Maryland south to South America (to at least northern Chile and northern Argentina) and Greater and southern Lesser Antilles (rare in Puerto Rico, absent from Virgin Islands). NON-BREEDING: north to Nayarit, southern Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, south throughout breeding range. Wanders widely but irregularly outside usual range (AOU 1983).

Area of Occupancy: 501 to >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: No global estimate possible but given its relatively common status in Central and South America, its area of occupancy could be greater than 20,000 square kilometer. The lower estimate of 500 square kilometers is simply an estimated minimal area of occupancy for a fairly common to common marsh inhabitant in most of the tropical Americas plus the southeastern U.S. states.

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Found in southeastern U.S. states bordering the Gulf of Mexico as well as Mexico, Central America, and South America. It is a fairly common to common summer breeding resident in several areas south of the U.S. (West and Hess, 2002). Based on this evidence there should be at least 81 or more breeding localities for this species on a global basis.

Population Size: 10,000 to >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: No global numbers but could be high. There are nesting densities of 37 nests in a 24-hectar rice field in Louisiana and there have been density estimates of 20 to 27 adults per hectare in Columbian rice fields (West and Hess, 2002). The higher number is just an estimate

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some to very many (13 to >125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: Unknown number globally but the presence of national wildlife refuges and parks in the U.S. alone should qualify this species for the DF ranking of 13 or more EOs with good viability.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Wetland losses is a problem primarily in the U.S. Hunting for food is a factor in the tropical Americas but there is no documented evidence of a population decline of Purple Gallinule in those areas yet.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Birdlife International (2014) describes the population trend as decreasing in North America but stable elsewhere in its range. The Breeding Bird Survey estimates a 2.2% annual decline of this species in North America from 2001 - 2011, for a 80% decline over the 10-year period (Sauer, et. al. 2014).

Long-term Trend: Decline of <70% to increase of <25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Birdlife International (2014) describes the population trend as decreasing in North America but stable elsewhere in its range. The Breeding Bird Survey estimates a 2.7% annual decline of this species in North America from 1996- 2011, for a 66% decline over the 45-year period (Sauer, et. al. 2014).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable to not intrinsically vulnerable.
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Vulnerable to population declines in the U.S. due to agricultural practices and wetland losses but not a major factor at the present time in Tropical Americas

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: The scarcity of key requirements of wetlands exists primarily in the U.S. at this time.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Standardized survey techniques are needed to estimate population status and trends for this species, perhaps utilizing survey techniques adapted from other Rallidae species (West and Hess, 2002).

Protection Needs: In the U.S., conservation and management of freshwater wetlands are critical for sustaining populations of Purple Gallinules.

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: locally in interior of eastern U.S. in southern Illinois (formerly), w. Tennessee, and central Ohio, and primarily in lowlands, from Nayarit and Delaware-Maryland south to South America (to at least northern Chile and northern Argentina) and Greater and southern Lesser Antilles (rare in Puerto Rico, absent from Virgin Islands). NON-BREEDING: north to Nayarit, southern Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, south throughout breeding range. Wanders widely but irregularly outside usual range (AOU 1983).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, NJ, NN, NY, OK, SC, TN, TX

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe 2005; NatureServe, 2002; NatureServe, 2005; WWF-US, 2000


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AR Arkansas (05001), Clark (05019), Hempstead (05057), Howard (05061), Lafayette (05073), Lonoke (05085)*, Pulaski (05119)
MS Hancock (28045), Jackson (28059), Madison (28089), Noxubee (28103), Rankin (28121), Washington (28151)
NC Brunswick (37019)*, Carteret (37031)*, Onslow (37133)*, Robeson (37155)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 White Oak River (03020301)+*, Lower Cape Fear (03030005)+*, Lumber (03040203)+*, Coastal Carolina (03040208)+*, Noxubee (03160108)+, Pascagoula (03170006)+, Escatawpa (03170008)+, Mississippi Coastal (03170009)+, Middle Pearl-Strong (03180002)+, Lower Pearl. Mississippi (03180004)+
08 Lower Arkansas (08020401)+, Bayou Meto (08020402)+*, Deer-Steele (08030209)+, Upper Ouachita (08040102)+
11 Lower Arkansas-Maumelle (11110207)+, Lower Little (11140109)+, Mckinney-Posten Bayous (11140201)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: Clutch size 5-10 (usually 6-8) in north, usually 4-5 in south. Incubation about 22 days, by both sexes. Immature may help parents protect and feed younger siblings (Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Ecology Comments: Solitary or in family groups (Stiles and Skutch 1989).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): Low gradient
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian
Habitat Comments: Marshes and borders of ponds, lakes, lagoons, and rivers where floating and tall dense waterside vegetation grows; rice fields; usually avoids open water but may use low perch near water (Hilty and Brown 1986). Nests on ground in tall marsh herbage, among plants growing in water, or on branches of shrubs at water level (Harrison 1978).
Adult Food Habits: Granivore, Herbivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Granivore, Herbivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats seeds, grains, aquatic plants, fruits of water lilies, frogs, snails, aquatic insects, worms, sometimes eggs and young of small marsh birds (Terres 1980).
Length: 33 centimeters
Weight: 257 grams
Economic Attributes
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Economic Comments: Regarded as pest in rice fields in some areas (Hilty and Brown 1986). Has not been hunted in Florida since 1972 (Eddleman et al. 1988).
Management Summary
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Biological Research Needs: Studies are needed on habitat usage and preferences to improve basic managementn planning for this species. Wetland weed controls for should be evaluated for potential impacts on Purple Gallinule productivity (West and Hess, 2002).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Coots and Moorhens

Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Dispersal distances from natal sites to subsequent nesting areas are unknown (Bannor and Kiviat 2002, Brisbin et al. 2002) but likely considerable. Migratory American coot populations apparently do not exhibit strong fidelity to breeding areas (see Brisbin et al. 2002). Separation distance is arbitrary. Occurrences do not necessarily represent discrete populations or metapopulations.
Date: 20Oct2004
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings
Notes: Includes species in the general FULICA, GALLINULA, and PORPHYRULA.

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of wintering flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 10 birds in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 10 km
Separation Justification: Arbitrary separation distance; occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 28Oct2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 09Apr2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Jue, Dean K.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 15Feb1990
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): HAMMERSON, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Alabama Breeding Bird Atlas 2000-2006 Homepage. 2009. T.M. Haggerty (editor), Alabama Ornithological Society. Available at http://www.una.edu/faculty/thaggerty/BBA%20website/Index.htm.

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  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU), Committee on Classification and Nomenclature. 1983. Check-list of North American Birds. Sixth Edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas.

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  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 2002. Forty-third supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. The Auk 119(3):897-906.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). Chesser, R.T., R.C. Banks, F.K. Barker, C. Cicero, J.L. Dunn, A.W. Kratter, I.J. Lovette, P.C. Rasmussen, J.V. Remsen, Jr., J.D. Rising, D.F. Stotz, and K. Winker. 2012. Fifty-third supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. The Auk 129(3):573-588.

  • Bent, A. C. 1926. Life histories of North American marsh birds. Bull. U.S. Nat. Mus. 135.

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  • BirdLife International. (2013-2014). IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on various dates in 2013 and 2014. http://www.birdlife.org/

  • BirdLife International. 2004b. Threatened birds of the world 2004. CD ROM. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.

  • Braun, M. J., D. W. Finch, M. B. Robbins, and B. K. Schmidt. 2000. A field checklist of the birds of Guyana. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

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  • Chesser, R. T., R. C. Banks, F. K. Barker, C. Cicero, J. L. Dunn, A. W. Kratter, I. J. Lovette, P. C. Rasmussen, J. V. Remsen, Jr., J. D. Rising, D .F. Stotz, and K. Winker. 2012. Fifty-third supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union check-list of North American birds. Auk 129:573-588.

  • DICKINSON, MARY B., ED. 1999. FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA, 3RD ED. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, WASHINGTON, D.C. 480 PP.

  • David, N., and M. Gosselin. 2011. Gender agreement of avian species-group names under Article 31.2.2 of the ICZN Code. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 131:103-115.

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  • Gullion, G. W. 1953. Territory behavior of the American coot. Condor 55:169-186.

  • Harrison, C. 1978. A Field Guide to the Nests, Eggs and Nestlings of North American Birds. Collins, Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Harrison, H. H. 1979. A field guide to western birds' nests. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 279 pp.

  • Hilty, S.L. and W. L. Brown. 1986. A Guide to the Birds of Colombia. Princeton University Press, Princeton, USA. 836 pp.

  • Howell, S. N. G., and S. Webb. 1995. A guide to the birds of Mexico and northern Central America. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

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  • Lowery, George H. 1974. The Birds of Louisiana. LSU Press. 651pp.

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  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Checklist of the amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals of New York State, including their protective status. Nongame Unit, Wildlife Resources Center, Delmar, NY.

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  • Poole, A. F. and F. B. Gill. 1992. The birds of North America. The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. and The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA.

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  • Raffaele, H., J. Wiley, O. Garrido, A. Keith, and J. Raffaele. 1998. A guide to the birds of the West Indies. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 511 pp.

  • Ridgely, R. S. 2002. Distribution maps of South American birds. Unpublished.

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  • Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, D. J. Ziolkowski, Jr., and W. A. Link. 2014. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, Results and Analysis 1966 - 2012. Version 02.19.2014. USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD. http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/.

  • Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, D. J. Ziolkowski, Jr., and W. A. Link. 2014. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, Results and Analysis 1966 - 2012. Version 02.19.2014 USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD.
     

  • See SERO listing

  • Sibley, D. A. 2000a. The Sibley guide to birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

  • Stevenson, H.M., and B.H. Anderson. 1994. The Birdlife of Florida. University Press of Florida, 891 pp.

  • Stiles, F. G. and A. F. Skutch. 1989. A guide to the birds of Costa Rica. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, USA. 511 pp.

  • Terres, J. K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

  • West, Richard L. and Gene K. Hess.  2002.  Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus).  The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.).  Ithaca:  Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu.bnaproxy.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/626/doi:10.2173/bna.626.

  • Zook, J. L. 2002. Distribution maps of the birds of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Unpublished.

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