Malaconotus gladiator


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

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

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.

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).

Cameroon; Nigeria
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.
Population Trend: Decreasing

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

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. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 05 September 2015.
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