Dendropicos stierlingi 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Piciformes Picidae

Scientific Name: Dendropicos stierlingi Reichenow, 1901
Common Name(s):
English Stierling's Woodpecker
French Pic de Stierling
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Dowsett, R.J., Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Borrow, N.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., O'Brien, A., Robertson, P., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Westrip, 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.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Dendropicos stierlingi occurs in southern Tanzania, northern Mozambique and adjacent southern Malawi (Winkler et al. 1995, Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2006). 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).

Countries occurrence:
Malawi; Mozambique; Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:379000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1500
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.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline owing to the clearance of its principal habitat for firewood.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:UnknownContinuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation:100

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 (Short and Horne 1981). 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).

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):4.2
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

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). It may be used for traditional medicine (Vats and Thomas 2015). In the long term the survival of this species depends solely on a few forest reserves, whose future is considered uncertain (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2006). In particular, much of Dzalanyama FR has been cleared by the Forestry Department itself in recent years (N. Borrow per F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. J. Dowsett in litt. 2016).

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. Conduct surveys to obtain an estimate of how many individuals may be taken for traditional medicine.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Dendropicos stierlingi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22680978A92888633. . Downloaded on 19 September 2018.
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