This discussion was first published as part of the 2016 Red List update. At the time a decision regarding its status was pended, but to enable potential reassessment of this species as part of the 2017 Red List update this post remained open and the date of posting was updated.
BirdLife species factsheet for Blue Bustard: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22692000
Eupodotis caerulescens is near endemic to South Africa, also extending into Lesotho (Taylor et al. 2015). The population has not been accurately quantified, but the species is currently listed as Near Threatened as it is predicted to undergo a moderately rapid future population decline over three generations (31 years), owing to habitat loss to intensive agriculture. Lee et al. (in press) have suggested that this species may have experienced a range decline of 18% (core range decline of 16%), with an associated possible population size decrease, since 1992. In the 2015 Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (Taylor et al. 2015) this species is listed as Least Concern because of a lack of evidence for a population or range decline. However, confirmation of the declines presented by Lee et al. (in press) would likely qualify the species to remain at Near Threatened, and accurate population measures could lead to uplisting under criterion C1.
Up to date information on population sizes is welcomed, as well as any comments on any possible declines that may be occurring in this species.
Lee, A.; Barnard, P.; Altwegg, R. (in press) Estimating conservation metrics from atlas data: the case of southern African endemic birds. Bird Conservation International.
Taylor, M. R.; Peacock, F.; Wanless, R. M. 2015. The 2015 Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.