The Madagascar Pond-heron (Ardeola idea) is a migratory species listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List due to its very small population size, which currently only numbers 2000 – 6000 individuals. Unfortunately, the species’ numbers continue to decline.
The Madagascar Pond-heron breeds in Madagascar, Aldabra (Seychelles), Mayotte (eastern Comoro Island) and Europa (Iles Eparses). It has a wide non-breeding range in Central and East Africa including the Comoro Islands. The main threats affecting the Madagascar Pond-heron include habitat destruction and degradation, human disturbance at nesting sites, reduced nesting sites which in turn leads to competition for nesting, feeding and roosting sites as well as the collection of eggs and young birds. In addition, there is increasing evidence of hybridisation with the Squacco Heron (A. Ralloides) in Madagascar.
In order to halt the decline of the Madagascar Pond-heron across its range, international cooperation is a must. To this end, an International Single Species Action Plan for the Conservation of the Madagascar Pond-heron has been adopted under the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA). The principal range states for the species coordinate the implementation of the Action Plan within the framework of the inter-governmental AEWA Madagascar Pond-heron International Working Group.