Human activities have had their effect on the heron. Historically, green herons were sometimes hunted for food. Fish hatcheries kill green herons to regulate their populations and prevent them eating their young fish. Pesticides have been found to accumulate in heron tissues, but no evidence of general reproductive failure has been observed, despite some localized effects to herons in highly polluted areas. Eggshell thinning has been recorded in comparison with pre-1947 egg samples, but it is not considered lethal. Increased recreational and industrial use of river channels leads to decreased use by green herons. Yet this has not led to decreased use of backwater habitats, for example, ponds. The main concern for the heron has been conservation and management of wetlands as a whole, versus the drainage and development that depletes habitat in which they live. No populations are considered threatened or endangered (Davis and Kushlan, 1994).
US Migratory Bird Act: protected
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: no special status
State of Michigan List: no special status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern