Caprimulgus prigoginei 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Caprimulgiformes Caprimulgidae

Scientific Name: Caprimulgus prigoginei
Species Authority: Louette, 1990
Common Name(s):
English Prigogine's Nightjar, Itombwe Nightjar
French Engoulevent de Prigogine
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. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International.
Identification information: 19 cm. Small nightjar, described from one female specimen. It looks vaguely similar to female Fiery-necked Nightjar C. pectoralis. Voice It is presently not known how to identify this species but if sound recordings of unidentified nightjars prove to be of this species, then its song is very similar to C. natalensis.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Butynski, T., Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Plumptre, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
This enigmatic species remains known with certainty from a single specimen, although sound recordings indicate that it may be more widespread. It is thus very difficult to assess its status. It is currently classified as Endangered because it has a very small range, within which forest clearance is likely to be causing declines. If future survey work confirms its presence elsewhere, as is already being suggested in two new countries, this would significantly increase its known range and call for re-assessment of its threatened status.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Endangered (EN)
2004 Endangered (EN)
2000 Endangered (EN)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Vulnerable (VU)
1988 Not Recognized (NR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Caprimulgus prigoginei remains known from a single female collected in August 1955 at Malenge, in the Itombwe Mountains of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (Dowsett-Lemaire 2009). A sound recording of two nightjars, in Itombwe at c.1,700 m in 1996, very probably refers to this species (T. Butynski in litt. 1999). Identical tape-recordings were obtained in northern Congo in 1996 (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998a) and south-east Cameroon in 1997 (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2000a), suggesting that the species may be more widespread. Additional records of nightjars that probably refer to this species (Butchart 2007) have come from Gabon in 1985 (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2006, Brosset and Erard 1986), and Congo (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998a, F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2006) and Cameroon (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998b) in the 1990s.

Countries occurrence:
Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 2200
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 2-5
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1200
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1700
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population of this species is assumed to be small (fewer than 10,000 individuals) based on the fact that there are no confirmed records since the original specimen was collected in 1955. It is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals here, equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend Justification:  The species is suspected to be in decline owing to the continued clearance of forest for cultivation and livestock-grazing (Omari et al.1999). The likely rate of decline has not been estimated.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 2500-9999 Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: Yes
No. of subpopulations: 2-100 Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is possible that the species is restricted to transitional (between lowland and montane) forest in which the type was found at 1,280 m (Louette 1990, Prigogine 1974). However, at this altitude it may equally well be found in either lowland or montane forest (Louette 1990, Prigogine 1974). Based on observations of birds which are probably this species, it appears to prefer forest with a broken canopy (Dowsett-Lemaire 2009).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 5.6
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Forest clearance for smallholder agriculture is a serious threat in Itombwe, where a maize blight since the early 1990s has reduced yields and forced farmers to clear forest for new farms (Omari et al. 1999). Clearance of forest for livestock-grazing, particularly at higher altitudes, is also a threat (Omari et al. 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Itombwe Forest has recently been gazetted as a community reserve, although the boundaries still need to be defined (A. Plumptre in litt. 2007). No other potentially relevant conservation action is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys in northern Congo and south-east Cameroon and mistnet the species to confirm whether prigoginei or a new species (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2000). Conduct surveys in forest in the region using tape play-back to clarify its range (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2000). Conduct surveys in suitable habitat in the Itombwe Mountains. Facilitate conservation action in collaboration with traditional authorities to limit further habitat degradation (Omari et al. 1999).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Caprimulgus prigoginei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22689954A38153711. . Downloaded on 02 December 2015.
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