Sunday 19 May
Hartlaub’s bustard (Eupodotis hartlaubii)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Hartlaub’s bustard fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Hartlaub’s bustard description
Hartlaub’s bustard is a comparatively small bustard, yet maintains the distinctive bustard figure, with a small head set on a long neck, and a bulky body with large legs. Although similar in appearance to the closely related black-bellied bustard (Eupodotis melanogaster), Hartlaub’s bustard can be distinguished by a greyer plumage with more distinctive markings, a lower back and a blackish tail. The female is similar in appearance to the male, but with a cream coloured head and hindneck with dark brown markings, a whitish belly and paler tail (2).
- Outarde de Hartlaub.
Hartlaub’s bustard biology
Despite being competent fliers, bustards are largely ground-dwelling birds, reserving flight for escape from predators (5). The specific feeding habits of Hartlaub’s bustard are largely unknown; however, this bustard is known to forage on the ground in open grasslands for invertebrates and plant material, such as seeds and flowerheads. Similarly, breeding behaviour has not been fully described, yet the breeding season is known to take place between January and June in East Africa, while male courtship displays have been observed during November (2).Top
Hartlaub’s bustard range
Scattered across eastern Africa, Hartlaub’s bustard is found in several fragmented populations in eastern Sudan, Ethiopia, northwest and south Somalia, northeast Uganda, northwest and south Kenya and northern Tanzania (2). Owing to its elusive nature, the breeding status of Hartlaub’s bustards is unknown for much of its range, but it is known to breed in Ethiopia and Kenya, while vagrants are occasionally seen beyond the normal range of the breeding season (2) (3) (4).Top
Hartlaub’s bustard habitat
Hartlaub’s bustard is associated with lightly wooded grasslands containing Acacia trees, up to 2000 metres above sea level. Habitat selection by Hartlaub’s bustard may change in regions containing black-bellied bustard, with one species replacing another. This behaviour may serve to minimise competition for foraging and nesting opportunities. In Kenya, Hartlaub’s bustard occupies lower drier habitat than black-bellied bustard, while in Ethiopia, Hartlaub’s bustard occupies higher altitude Acacia short-grass savanna (2).Top
Hartlaub’s bustard statusTop
Hartlaub’s bustard threats
Due to a dearth of species specific studies, there is a lack of data concerning the impact of threats on wild populations of the little known Hartlaub’s bustard. The species exists in fragmented populations of restricted range, making each population vulnerable to chance natural events, such as disease, while specific threats may vary considerably between localities. Hartlaub’s bustard habitat is vulnerable to overgrazing by domesticated livestock, resulting in possible desertification, while in Somalia the species is believed to have medicinal value, and as a result is directly targeted by hunters (2) (6).Top
Hartlaub’s bustard conservation
Considered common in much of its extensive range, Hartlaub’s bustard is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (1). Although the current population trend is considered stable, surveys are required to produce accurate assessments regarding population number, fragmentation, status and threats to this elusive species (1) (2).Top
Find out more
For more information on bird conservation projects in Africa see:
The African Bird Club:
For more information on this and other bird species please see:
- BirdLife International:
Authenticated (17/03/10) by Mengistu Wondafrash, Executive Director, Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
- Animals with no backbone, such as insects, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, spiders, cnidarians (jellyfish, corals, sea anemones), echinoderms, and others.
- Found occasionally outside normal range.
- IUCN Red List (January, 2010)
- del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (1994) Handbook of the Birds of the World - Hoatzin to Auks. Vol. 3. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
- CITES (January, 2010)
- Global Register of Migratory Species (January, 2010)
- Burnie, D. (2001) Animal. Dorling Kindersley, London.
- Amir, O.G. (2010) Wildlife trade in Somalia. IUCN/SSC Antelope specialist group, Northeast African subgroup. Available at:
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.