Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Platysteiridae

Scientific Name: Platysteira laticincta
Species Authority: Bates, 1926
Common Name(s):
English Banded Wattle-eye
Taxonomic Notes: Platysteira peltata and P. laticincta (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) are retained as separate species contra Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993) who include laticincta as a subspecies of P. peltata.

Identification information: 13 cm. Small, black-and-white flycatcher with very obvious, broad, crimson eye-wattles. Glossy, deep bluish-black upperparts, neck, throat and breast. Remaining underparts white. Female has black throat and breast. Voice Discordant whistles, three-to-four-note phrases, similar to song of Black-throated Wattle-eye P. peltata. Hints Relatively easy to see, but has a quiet song and subdued calls.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): DeMarco, J., Maisels, F., Thomas, D. & Whytock, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Ekstrom, J., Pilgrim, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
This species is listed as Endangered because it has a very small range, which is also fragmented and undergoing a continuing decline as a result of pressure from the human use of its montane forest habitat.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Endangered (EN)
2006 Endangered (EN)
2004 Endangered (EN)
2000 Endangered (EN)
1996 Vulnerable (VU)
1994 Vulnerable (VU)
1988 Threatened (T)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Platysteira laticincta is restricted to the Bamenda Highlands of western Cameroon, and is only likely to survive if the Kilum-Ijim forest, the largest remaining forest area in the region, is preserved (D. Thomas in litt. 1996). Research in 1994-1995 found the species in most remaining forest or forest remnants in the Bamenda Highlands and seemingly able to persist in very small forest fragments (<1 km2) (McKay and Coulthard 1996). However, in 1999 and 2000, follow-up surveys found some of these forest fragments had almost completely disappeared, with P. laticincta either absent or only a few pairs remaining (Njabo and Languy 2000). Preliminary research in 1994 estimated the Kilum-Ijim population at 3,000 birds (McKay 1994).

Countries occurrence:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 1900
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): 1800
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2450
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Preliminary research in 1994 estimated the Kilum-Ijim population at 3,000 birds, however the species is also found in most of the remaining forest in the Bamenda Highlands, putting the population somewhere in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend Justification:  This species's population is suspected to be declining rapidly, in line with habitat loss and degradation within its range, owing to forest clearance and uncontrolled forest fires.
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: Yes
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation: 1-89

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in montane forest, dominated by species such as Podocarpus, Schefflera and Prunus, where it inhabits thick forest understorey and seems to favour streams or dry stream courses (McKay 1994, McKay and Coulthard 1996). Below 1,800 m it is replaced by its congener the Scarlet-spectacled Wattle-eye P. cyanea (McKay and Coulthard 1996). It breeds in the early dry season, January-March (McKay and Coulthard 1996), with nest-building starting in November (F. Maisels in litt. 1998).

Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 6.1
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is under very serious threat from forest clearance for agriculture, grazing, firewood and timber, with birds surviving in forest fragments in imminent danger of extinction (McKay and Coulthard 1996). In 2002, it was observed that Podocarpus trees had been felled at Oku and intensive grazing was taking place on montane grasslands (F. Maisels in litt. 2007). Forest fires in the dry season are the most serious threat, particularly as the species inhabits thick undergrowth and nests close to the ground (F. Maisels in litt. 1998). In March 2000, c.500 ha of forest were burnt around Lake Oku (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000). Uncontrolled burning takes place as a result of fires for forest clearance, cooking fires in the forest, people tending hives, and discarded cigarettes. 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
Local communities are actively engaged in conserving the montane forest, with support from the Kilum-Ijim Forest Project. More sustainable farming techniques are being used to take pressure off the remaining forest. The condition of the Kilum-Ijim forest and its endemic birds is monitored, as well as the overall extent of forest cover in the Bamenda Highlands. Community-based conservation activities were extended to other forest fragments in the Bamenda Highlands in 2000 (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000). Following changes to conservation projects in this region over recent years, forest patrols by local people stopped in areas such as Oku (F. Maisels in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct more intensive surveys at Kilum-Ijim to ascertain population numbers of the species (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998c, F. Maisels in litt. 1998). Take measures to prevent forest fires (F. Maisels in litt. 1998). Protect as many as possible of the remaining forest fragments in the Bamenda Highlands (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000). Develop strategies for restoring larger blocks of natural forest and connecting corridors (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000).

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Platysteira laticincta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22707929A39321256. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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