Apus caffer 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Caprimulgiformes Apodidae

Scientific Name: Apus caffer (Lichtenstein, 1823)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English White-rumped Swift, African White-rumped Swift
French Martinet cafre
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: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ashpole, J, Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Countries occurrence:
Angola; Benin; Botswana; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Chad; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Djibouti; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gabon; Ghana; Kenya; Lesotho; Liberia; Malawi; Mali; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; Niger; Nigeria; Portugal; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; South Africa; South Sudan; Spain; Sudan; Swaziland; Tanzania, United Republic of; Togo; Uganda; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Finland; Gambia; Gibraltar; Malta; Mauritania; Norway; Tunisia; Yemen
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:21400000
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):2500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population size has not been quantified. The European population is estimated at 110-200 pairs, which equates to 220-400 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2015), but Europe forms <5% of the global range.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be increasing owing to the construction of bridges which it utilises for nesting (del Hoyo et al. 1999). The small European population trend is not known (BirdLife International 2015).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:UnknownContinuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found over a wide range of habitats from arid savanna and Mediterranean scrub to equatorial forest (Chantler and Boesman 2016). It typically uses disused Little Swift (Apus affinis) or certain swallow (Hirundo) nests, though niches in rock-faces or buildings are sometimes used. In disused nests, it uses feathers and down adhered with saliva as lining; in rock sites it makes a shallow cup of feathers and vegetable matter agglutinated with saliva. It breeds from late May in Spain, May in Morocco, July in Senegambia, April and June-July in Nigeria, February in Sudan, May-June in Ethiopia, May and July in the Democratic Republic of Congo, January-February, August and October in Angola, August-December in Zambia, September in Malawi, August-April in Zimbabwe, November-February in Namibia, August-March in Transvaal with a peak in South Africa between October and January. Typically lays one to three eggs (Chantler and Boesman 2016). It feeds on small flying insects (Snow and Perrins 1998). The species is migratory in the northernmost and southernmost parts of the range; the Spanish population is present from early May to August–October and some birds are recorded into early December, with autumn migration through the Straits of Gibraltar occurring mid-August to mid-October. The southern African population is present from August to May (Chantler and Boesman 2016).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):12.5
Movement patterns:Full Migrant

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
EU Birds Directive Annex I. Bern Convention Appendix II. There are currently no known conservation measures for this species within its European range.
Conservation Actions Proposed
No conservation measures are currently required for this species within its European range.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Apus caffer. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22686882A89497219. . Downloaded on 19 September 2017.
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