Oriolus crassirostris


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Oriolus crassirostris
Species Authority: Hartlaub, 1857
Common Name(s):
English Sao Tome Oriole, São Tomé Oriole, Sao Tomé Oriole
French Loriot de São Tomé

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable D1 ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Gascoigne, A., Melo, M. & Olmos, F.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Peet, N., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
This species qualifies as Vulnerable because it is thought to have a small population, given the small area of suitable primary and mature secondary forest habitat within its range. Improved knowledge of its population and habitat requirements may result in its population estimate being revised upwards and its status being reviewed.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Oriolus crassirostris is endemic to São Tomé, São Tomé e Príncipe. It is widely distributed over much of the island, except the north-east, and is most abundant in the south-west and on the central massif, occurring everywhere at low densities, with old estimates of one to two birds per 25 ha (Atkinson et al. 1991, Christy and Clarke 1998).

Sao Tomé and Principe
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 250-999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is most abundant in primary forest (up to 1,600 m), but also occurs in undisturbed secondary forest. It occurs occasionally in dry forest in the north but is generally absent from cocoa plantations (Atkinson et al. 1991, Christy and Clarke 1998).

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Historically, large areas of forest were cleared for cocoa and coffee plantations. Today, land privatisation is leading to an increase in the number of small farms and the clearance of trees and may be a threat to this species where it occurs in secondary habitats. Road developments along the east and west coasts are increasing access to previously remote areas (A. Gascoigne in litt. 2000). Construction for the country's developing oil industry, including the established idea of building 'free ports' (free economic zones) (M. Melo in litt. 2003), was seen as a potential threat to the species's habitat. However, prospecting on land was unsuccessful, and any construction is likely to be offshore (F. Olmos in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
A new law providing for the gazetting of protected areas and the protection of threatened species (A. Gascoigne in litt. 2000, M. Melo in litt. 2003) has been ratified (F. Olmos in litt. 2007). Legislation for the creation of Obo National Park has also been ratified (F. Olmos in litt. 2007) and protection of primary forest as a zona ecologica has been proposed.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Research its population size and distribution. Study its ecological requirements. Identify the key threats in order to produce conservation recommendations. Ensure legal protection of all remaining lowland primary forest. List it as a protected species under national law.

Citation: BirdLife International 2012. Oriolus crassirostris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 01 September 2015.
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