Scarlet ibis

(Eudocimus ruber)




Facts about this animal

The total length (tip of beak to tip of tail) of an adult Scarlet ibis is 55-63 cm. Wingspan in males is 26-28 cm, in females it is 23-26 cm. The plumage in bright scarlet red (sometimes orange red or more or less deep pink; colouring depends on individuals, populations, season and food). Only the tips of the wings are black. The head, neck and under-parts are sometimes paler. In captivity the plumage generally looses its brightness and becomes paler. The naked skin parts in the face and the long, curved beak are pinkish to reddish. The beak sometimes becomes blackish to a variable extent, especially during the breeding season. The legs are also pinkish to reddish, with blackish brown nails. At first sight no sexual dimorphism is visible, but males are slightly larger than females, with a longer beak.

Did you know?
that the main causes for the decline of the Scarlet ibis are alteration of their habitat (e.g. construction of drainage canals and containing dikes), destruction of mangroves along the coasts, and human disturbance (recreational activities, hunting)?


Class AVES
Name (Scientific) Eudocimus ruber
Name (English) Scarlet ibis
Name (French) Ibis rouge
Name (German) Roter Ibis
Name (Spanish) Corocoro rojo
Local names French Guyana: Ibis flamant, Courlis rouge
CITES Status Appendix II
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Photo © Yelitza Breen



Range Northern part of South America, mainly in coastal areas. Regular visitor to the Isles of Margarita and Trinidad.
Habitat Mangrove swamps, estuaries and mudflats, freshwater marshed, shallow lakes, ponds, lagoons, flooded areas, and rice fields. Nests on islands with mangroves, often in or near river mouths, or on trees and shrubs at inland wetlands.
Wild population Still common and even abundant in some regions. But most populations are decreasing alarmingly, as in French Guyana. (The fact that the species likes to change its breeding places from one season to another has to be kept in mind.)
Zoo population Frequently kept in zoos. 2136 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Scarlet ibis


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 17 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Photo © Yelitza Breen

Why do zoos keep this animal

The scarlet ibis is not a threatened species. It is mainly kept for educational purposes and for promoting wetland conservation, ideally in mixed exhibits (walk-thru aviaries).