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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Sunbittern Eurypyga helias

Sarah A. MacLean
Version: 1.0 — Published July 1, 2010


The Sunbittern is currently listed as a species of Least Concern by Birdlife International, with a population estimate of at least 500,000 individuals and a range estimate of 8,420,000 km2.

Although this species is not considered threatened because of the large size of its geographic range, and there is no evidence of a significant rate of decline, some authors have reported diminishing numbers in some parts of the range, such as in Costa Rica (Stiles and Skutch 1989), Panama (Wetmore 1965) and French Guiana (Tostain et al. 2003).

Effects of human activity on populations

Sunbitterns are not particularly shy, but they do show wariness around humans and are thus adversely effected by the expansion of settlements (Wetmore 1965). Hunting and casual hunting probably also play a large role in the species' disappearance from certain areas (Wetmore 1965), as Sunbitterns reportedly are good to eat (Slud 1964).

Recommended Citation

MacLean, S. A. (2010). Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.sunbit1.01