Malaconotus gladiator 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Malaconotidae

Scientific Name: Malaconotus gladiator
Species Authority: (Reichenow, 1892)
Common Name(s):
English Green-breasted Bush-shrike, Cameroon Mountain Bushshrike, Green-breasted Bushshrike, Green-breasted Bush Shrike
French Gladiateur à poitrine verte
Identification information: 25 cm. Large, big headed, grey-and-green forest shrike. Combination of grey cap and nape and green body are diagnostic. Voice Series of monotonous whistles or grating notes, identical to those of Grey-headed Bush Shrike M. blanchoti. Hints Easily detected by distinctive, far-carrying call. Does not associate with other species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v);C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Fotso, R., Hall, P., Maisels, F. & Whytock, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
Despite being found at three new locations since 1997, this species still has a small range, which is fragmented, and suspected to be declining owing to habitat loss. It would seem to occur in low numbers and its population is likely to be small and declining. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Vulnerable (VU)
2004 Vulnerable (VU)
2000 Vulnerable (VU)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Vulnerable (VU)
1988 Threatened (T)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Malaconotus gladiator occurs at low densities in western Cameroon (Mt Cameroon, Rumpi Hills, Bakossi Mountains, southern slopes of Mt Manenguba [Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999c], Mt Kupe, Mt Nlonako, Mt Oku, and at four further localities in the Bamenda-Banso Highlands [Njabo and Languy 2000]) and eastern Nigeria (Obudu Plateau). The species must be on the verge of extinction on Mt Oku, as there is almost no forest remaining within its altitudinal range (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998c). It is uncommon on Mt Nlonako and has not been found in the north Bakossi Mountains or the highlands of Banyang Mbo, despite searches (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999c, R. Fotso in litt. 1999). However, in 1998, it was found to be locally common in central Bakossi Mountains, with six territories located in <1 km2 and this is undoubtedly the most important site for the species (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). In 1999 and 2000, it was found on the southern slopes of Mt Manenguba, where it was also fairly common (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999c, Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2000b).

Countries occurrence:
Cameroon; Nigeria
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 7200
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 11-100
Continuing decline in number of locations: Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 950
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2300
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 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 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be declining in line with the clearance and degradation of forest within the species's range. The likely rate of decline, however, 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: This insectivorous species is found in montane forest, both primary and old secondary forest, favouring the edge of natural clearings or gaps (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998c), and forest/grassland mosaic from 950 to 2,300 m. Altitudes vary with locality, for example, in the Bakossi Mountains it is found down to at least 1,100 m, whilst on Mt Manenguba it is mainly found between 1,500 and 2,200 m (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999c, Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2000b).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 4.4
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There is already considerable loss of habitat in the Bamenda Highlands, where remaining forest is severely threatened by clearance for agriculture, grazing, firewood collection and extraction of timber, whilst forest loss on the Obudu Plateau continues at an alarming rate (P. Hall in litt. 1999). Plans for a 70,000 ha palm oil plantation threaten to significantly fragment large areas of suitable habitat in the southwestern Cameroon if approved (Linder et al. 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
The Mount Cameroon National Park was created in December 2009, covering c.58,000 ha (WWF 2010). In the Bakossi Mountains, forests are still waiting to be classified, probably partly as forest reserves (open to timber concessions) and partly as protected areas (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). On the Obudu Plateau, a small patch of forest has been established as a reserve and it is hoped to extend protection to other forest areas on the plateau (P. Hall in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to assess the population size. Carry out regular surveys to monitor population trends. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation within the species's range. In Cameroon, conserve montane forest sites through legal protection or community forestry (F. Maisels in litt. 1998). In Nigeria, protect additional areas of forest on the Obudu Plateau (P. Hall in litt. 1999).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Malaconotus gladiator. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22707728A39339120. . Downloaded on 30 November 2015.
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