Global invasive species database

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Common name
avadavat (English, Saint Helena), red-cheeked waxbill (English), waxbill (English), common waxbill (English)
Similar species
The common waxbill, Estrilda astrild is native to tropical and southern Africa, but has been introduced to many island nations where it has shown mixed success in establishment. It feeds mainly on grass seeds and is commonly found in open long grass plains and close to human habitation. E. astrild shows a high reproductive rate which is attributed to its ability to naturalize easily.
Species Description
Estrilda astrild tends to move in small flocks (Hughes et al, 1994) and concentrates around human habitation and good vegetation cover. The main foodstuff for E. astrild is mainly grass seeds (Lewis, 2008). The large success of of E. astrild's success in naturalisation in its introduced range is due to its high reproductive rate and being able to breed all year round in certain regions (Reino & Silva, 1998). E. astrild collects carnivore scat and places it around its nests, thus trying to camouflage them from predators (Schuetz, 2004).
Habitat Description
Estrilda astrild inhabits open country with long grass, reed stands near water, cultivated areas, forest edges and in the vicinity of human habitations (Goodwin 1982; as seen in Reino & Silva, 1998).
Estrilda astrild feeds mainly on grass seeds (Lewis, 2008).

Principal source:

Compiler: IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) with support from the Overseas Territories Environmental Programme (OTEP) project XOT603, a joint project with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment


Publication date: 2010-06-08

Recommended citation: Global Invasive Species Database (2021) Species profile: Estrilda astrild. Downloaded from on 18-09-2021.

Countries (or multi-country features) with distribution records for Estrilda astrild
  • angola
  • botswana
  • burundi
  • cameroon
  • central african republic
  • congo
  • congo, the democratic republic of the
  • cote d'ivoire
  • equatorial guinea
  • ethiopia
  • gabon
  • ghana
  • guinea
  • kenya
  • lesotho
  • liberia
  • malawi
  • mozambique
  • namibia
  • nigeria
  • rwanda
  • sao tome and principe
  • sierra leone
  • somalia
  • south africa
  • sudan
  • swaziland
  • tanzania, united republic of
  • uganda
  • zambia
  • zimbabwe
Informations on Estrilda astrild has been recorded for the following locations. Click on the name for additional informations.
Lorem Ipsum
Location Status Invasiveness Occurrence Source
Details of Estrilda astrild in information
Arrival date
Species notes for this location
Location note
Management notes for this location
Ecosystem services:
Impact information
Red List assessed species 0:
[1] Predation
[1] Socio-Economic
  • [1] Damage to agriculture
Management information
31 references found for Estrilda astrild

Management information
IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)., 2010. A Compilation of Information Sources for Conservation Managers.
Summary: This compilation of information sources can be sorted on keywords for example: Baits & Lures, Non Target Species, Eradication, Monitoring, Risk Assessment, Weeds, Herbicides etc. This compilation is at present in Excel format, this will be web-enabled as a searchable database shortly. This version of the database has been developed by the IUCN SSC ISSG as part of an Overseas Territories Environmental Programme funded project XOT603 in partnership with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment. The compilation is a work under progress, the ISSG will manage, maintain and enhance the database with current and newly published information, reports, journal articles etc.
Real, Raimundo; Marquez, Ana L.; Estrada, Alba; Munoz, A. Roman; Vargas, J. Mario, 2008. Modelling chorotypes of invasive vertebrates in mainland Spain. Diversity & Distributions. 14(2). MAR 2008. 364-373.
Reino, Luis; Moya-Larano, Jordi; Heitor, Antonio Claudio, 2009. Using survival regression to study patterns of expansion of invasive species: will the common waxbill expand with global warming? Ecography. 32(2). APR 2009. 237-246.
General information
Agoramoorthy, Govindasamy & Minna J. Hsu, 2007. Ritual Releasing of Wild Animals Threatens Island Ecology. Hum Ecol (2007) 35:251�254
Avibase, 2010. Common waxbill (Estrilda astrild) (Linnaeus, 1758)
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2010]
Birchenough, A.C., G.W. Douglas and S.M. Evans, 2003. Assessing the distribution of estrildid finches on Vanuatu using local knowledge. Bird Conservation International (2003), 13:1:29-44
BirdLife International. 2010. Species factsheet: Estrilda astrild
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2010]
Blair, Mike, 1987. The Rafos Expedition to Ascension Island 1987.
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2010]
Bourne, W. R. P, 1954. The birds of the Cape Verde Islands. IBIS 97
Brooke, Richard K., Julie L. Lockwood and Michael P. Moulton, 1995. Patterns of success in passeriform bird introductions on Saint Helena. Oecologia Volume 103, Number 3 / August, 1995
De Naurois, 1988. Birds of the Genera Passer and Estrilda in the Caper Verde Archipelago Portugal. Boletim do Museu Municipal do Funchal.(40). 1988. 253-273.
Duffey, Eric, 1964. The Terrestrial Ecology of Ascension Island. Journal of Applied Ecology, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Nov., 1964), pp. 219-251
Ferreira, L. F. F., 1980. Information on the distribution of Estrilda astrild (Aves Estrildidae) in Portugal. Boletim da Sociedade Portuguesa de Ciencias Naturais. 20(2). 1980, 1981. 19-24.
Garcia Del-Rey, E., 2007. Exotic, introduced and invasive fauna on Tenerife: are these species a serious threat? Vierarea 35: 131-138.
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2010]
Hughes, Maj B.J., SSgt R.G.Thompson, J.G.Walmsley and Maj M.J. Varley, 1994. Exercise Booby IV Ascension Island, 12 -28 1994.
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2010]
Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), 2010. Estrilda astrild (Linnaeus, 1758)
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2010]
Lewis, Colin A., 2008. Late Glacial and Holocene avifauna of St Helena, South Atlantic Ocean. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa Vol. 63(2) 128 � 144
Lockwood, Julie L. and Michael P. Moulton, 1984. Ecomorphological pattern in influence of competition and preserves Bermuda birds: implications for nature preserves. Evolutionary Ecology, 1994, 8, 53-60
Michael, Moulton and James, S. Anderson, 1997. Predicting the Fates of Passeriform Introductions on Oceanic Islands. Conservation Biology, Volume 11, Issue 2 (p 552-558)
Moulton, Michael P. and David K. Ferris, 1991. Summer Diets of Some Introduced Hawaiian Finches. The Wilson Bulletin, Vol. 103, No. 2 (Jun., 1991), pp. 286-292
Nash, Maj R.H.J., Maj B.J.Hughes, J.G.Walmsley, 1990. Exercise Booby II ABWS Expedition to Ascension Island March 1990
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2010]
Olson, L. Storrs, 1975. Paleornithology of St. Helena Island, South Atlantic Ocean. Smithsonian Contributions to Paleobiology Number 23
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2010]
Petronilho, Joao M. S.; Vingada, Jose V.; Ferreira, Joao, 2004. Exotic birds in Quiaios-Mira coast (Beira litoral, Portugal) AIRO. 14 2004. 114-120.
Reini, Luis Miguel & Tiago Silva, 1998. The distribution and expansion of the Common Waxbill (Estrilda astrild) in the Iberian Peninsula. Biol. Cons. Fauna 102 (1998): 163-167
Summary: Available from: [Accessed 3 July 2010]
Reino, Luis, 2005. Variation partitioning for range expansion of an introduced species: the common waxbill Estrilda astrild in Portugal. Journal of Ornithology. 146(4). OCT 2005. 377-382.
Schuetz, Justin G., 2005. Common waxbills use carnivore scat to reduce the risk of nest predation. Behavioral Ecology. 16(1). January 2005. 133-137.
Silva, Tiago; Reino, Luis M.; Borralho, Rui, 2002. A model for range expansion of an introduced species: The common waxbill Estrilda astrild in Portugal. Diversity & Distributions. 8(6). November 2002. 319-326.
Stonehouse, Bernard, 1962. Ascension Island and the British Ornithologists Union Centenary Expedition 1957-59. The IBIS Vol. 103b, No. 2, 1962
Tenreiro, Paulo J. Q.; Petronilho, Joao M. S., 2002. Nesting period and biometrics of the Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild in Central Portugal. AIRO. 12 2002. 125-128.
Voss, W. A., 1979. Occurrence of the Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild in the city of Novo-Hamburgo Brazil Estrildidae Aves. Pesquisas Zoologia (Porto Alegre).(31). 1979. 25-28.
The following 0 contacts offer information an advice on Estrilda astrild
Estrilda astrild
avadavat, red-cheeked waxbill, waxbill, common waxbill
Date assessed
Year published
Eicat category
Justification for EICAT assessment
Confidence rating
Mechanism(s) of maximum impact
Countries of most severe impact
Description of impacts
Recommended citation
(2021). Estrilda astrild. IUCN Environmental Impact Classification for Alien Taxa (EICAT).