In Madagascar, this species is likely to have very poor nesting success owing to the regular and comprehensive burning of grasslands and marshes, especially in the central high-plateau region (to produce fresh grazing areas and to clear land)
(Ren de Roland et al.
2004, 2009, Anon. 2007), and due to egg-hunting and nest-destruction by local people (ZICOMA 1999, A. F. A. Hawkins in litt
. 2000). Most savannah fires occur from August to November, thus coinciding with the species's breeding season (Ren de Roland et al.
2009). For example, in October 2005, all seven nests at Ambohitantely were destroyed by fire during the incubation period, resulting in the loss of all eggs (L-. A. Ren de Roland in litt.
2006, Ren de Roland et al.
2009.). Conversion of wetlands for rice farming is also likely to have a negative impact upon the species (Ren de Roland et al.
2004, 2009, L.-A. Ren de Roland in litt.
2006, Anon. 2007). Over 80% of marshland in Madagascar has been converted into rice fields (R. Thorstrom and L.-A. Ren de Roland in litt
. 2007), mainly in areas of dense human inhabitation (Ren de Roland et al.
2009). Nestlings are often taken by people for food, and interviews with local communities have revealed that adults are also hunted for food (Anon. 2007, Ren de Roland et al.
2009). The species is also persecuted because of its threat to poultry, however, in one study of breeding birds, domestic chickens accounted for only 1% of prey items (Ren de Roland et al.
2004). The disturbance of marshes appears to limit the number of breeding pairs present, and human activities during the cultivation period may force the movement of birds. The species requires undisturbed areas with unaltered savannah, however land-use activities have rendered it absent from many areas of Madagascar (Ren de Roland et al.