The Reddish Egret is a federally listed species of special concern in Mexico (NOM-059-SEMARNAT-2010, SEMARNAT 2010) and a Bird of Conservation Concern in the U.S. (USFWS 2008). Likewise, it is identified as being of Continental and Regional concern in need of Immediate Management in the 2006 Southeast U.S. Waterbird Conservation Plan (Hunter et al. 2006). It is listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN and a species of greatest conservation concern on Audubon’s Watchlist due to its moderately small population and suspected population declines (Butcher et al. 2007).
Given that there are two geographically distinct subspecies of Reddish Egret, and that threats and management situations vary greatly across the hemispheric range of the species, three management units – Eastern, Central, and Western – were identified for purposes of conservation planning.