Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Pelecaniformes > Ardeidae > Ardea > Ardea insignis

Ardea insignis (White-bellied Heron)

Synonyms: Ardea imperialis

Wikipedia Abstract

The white-bellied heron (Ardea insignis), also known as the imperial heron or great white-bellied heron, is a species of large heron found in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas in India, northeastern Bangladesh, Burma and Bhutan. Additionally, there are records from Nepal. It is mostly dark grey with a white throat and underparts. This heron is mostly solitary and is found on undisturbed riverside or wetland habitats. The global population has declined and the species is threatened by disturbance and habitat degradation. The species is currently listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN.
View Wikipedia Record: Ardea insignis

Endangered Species

Status: Critically Endangered
View IUCN Record: Ardea insignis

EDGE Analysis

The White-bellied Heron is the second largest heron in the world, with adults standing at well over a metre tall. Much of this height is due to its long slender neck. The heron is a riverine species and is strongly associated with waterbodies and adjacent forested habitat. It was once common in Myanmar and found in many other Asian countries. Today, it is known from about ten localities in India, Bhutan and Myanmar. Waterbodies in protected areas are still being converted to farmland and poaching is an ongoing threat at key sites.
Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 8.40234
EDGE Score: 5.01355
View EDGE Record: Ardea insignis


Diet [1]  Carnivore (Invertebrates), Carnivore (Vertebrates), Piscivore
Diet - Ectothermic [1]  10 %
Diet - Endothermic [1]  10 %
Diet - Fish [1]  70 %
Diet - Invertibrates [1]  10 %
Forages - Ground [1]  50 %
Forages - Water Surface [1]  50 %
Clutch Size [2]  4
Top 100 Endangered [3]  Yes


Protected Areas

Name IUCN Category Area acres Location Species Website Climate Land Use
Buxa Tiger Reserve Sanctuary IV 23685 West Bengal, India  
Manas National Park II 135025 Assam, India
Sunderban National Park 261613 India  

Important Bird Areas

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
Himalaya Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan Yes

Range Map


External References



Attributes / relations provided by
1Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
2Jetz W, Sekercioglu CH, Böhning-Gaese K (2008) The Worldwide Variation in Avian Clutch Size across Species and Space PLoS Biol 6(12): e303. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060303
3Baillie, J.E.M. & Butcher, E. R. (2012) Priceless or Worthless? The world’s most threatened species. Zoological Society of London, United Kingdom.
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 WWF WildFINDER
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License