Dendropicos stierlingi


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Dendropicos stierlingi
Species Authority: Reichenow, 1901
Common Name(s):
English Stierling's Woodpecker
French Pic de Stierling

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Dowsett, R. & Dowsett-Lemaire, F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., O'Brien, A., Robertson, P., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline, owing to the clearance of its principal habitat for firewood. If the decline is found to be greater, the species might qualify for uplisting to a higher threat category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Dendropicos stierlingi occurs in southern Tanzania, northern Mozambique and adjacent south-west Malawi (Winkler et al. 1995). Within most of this small range the species is uncommon to rare (Fry et al. 1988) although it has been reported as being common in parts of the Dzalanyama Mountains in Malawi (Short and Horne 1981).

Malawi; Mozambique; Tanzania, United Republic of
Present - origin uncertain:
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population size of this species has not been quantified; it is considered common.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits Brachystegia woodland almost exclusively (Fry et al. 1988), from lowland areas up to 1,500 m (del Hoyo et al. 2002). Its distribution is limited even within this habitat, although the reasons for this are unclear (Fry et al. 1988). It feeds on insects and centipedes in the middle strata and canopy, foraging on branches 4-12 cm thick and thus apparently avoiding competition with Cardinal Woodpecker D. fuscescens which feeds more often on twigs and smaller branches (Winkler et al. 1995). However, the opening-up of Brachystegia woodland probably favours Cardinal Woodpecker over Stierling's Woodpecker (Short and Horne 1981). It nests in tree holes, probably in July-October (del Hoyo et al. 2002).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In Malawi and possibly also in Mozambique and Tanzania, Brachystegia woodland is being cleared for firewood especially in areas of tobacco cultivation where the tobacco is dried over wood fires (F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. J. Dowsett in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation action is known for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain a total population estimate. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation across the species's range. Protect the species's habitat.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Dendropicos stierlingi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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