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Monticola explorator 

Scope: Global
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Muscicapidae

Scientific Name: Monticola explorator (Vieillot, 1818)
Common Name(s):
English Sentinel Rock-thrush, Sentinel Rock Thrush, Sentinel Rock-Thrush
French Merle de roche montagnard
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Westrip, J.
Justification:
Data from Southern African Bird Atlas Projects suggests that this species is experiencing at least a moderately rapid decline, but there is uncertainty over the rate of decline. Therefore, this species is now listed as Near Threatened, but further information regarding population trends may mean that the species's Red List status requires re-evaluation.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in eastern and southern South Africa, Lesotho and across into western Swaziland and potentially into the extreme south of Mozambique (Collar 2017), though its main population centre appears to be in Lesotho (Hockey et al. 2005, Taylor et al. 2015).
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Lesotho; Mozambique; South Africa; Swaziland
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:818000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):2000
Upper elevation limit (metres):3200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as fairly common above 1,500 m in South Africa and common above 2,500 m in Lesotho (del Hoyo et al. 2005).

Trend Justification:  Declines in the western part of its range have been noted since the 1980s (Hockey et al. 2005,Taylor et al. 2015), but the reason for these declines is unknown. Lee et al. (2017) analysed Southern African Bird Atlas Project (SABAP) data (SABAP1 1987-1992; SABAP2 2007-2014. Note SABAP2 is ongoing but data taken from 2014) and suggested that this species is experiencing a decline in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Lee et al. (2017) suggest that reporting rate has declined 34.4%, range has declined 48.7% and core range has declined 38.5% between SABAPs (although the corrected population change metric suggests population declines may be lower than this). Declines may in part be due to incomplete sampling during SABAP2 and the time period for these declines is greater than 3 generations (c.11.5 years), but it is precautionarily assessed that the species may be at least declining moderately rapidly over 3 generations.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:UnknownContinuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species occurs in high altitude grassland and heathland associated with stones, including rocky areas and felled areas containing exposed rocks (see Hockey et al. 2005). Resident in some areas (such as Lesotho and in the Drakensbergs), in others it may make some seasonal, altitudinal movements (Hockey et al. 2005); being only a winter visitor to grasslands in Gauteng (Taylor et al. 2015).
Systems:Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown
Generation Length (years):3.8
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Afforestation could potentially be a threat to the species (Allan et al. 1997). Given its ecology it could become threatened by climate change, and temperatures in South Africa have been reported to be rising (van Wilgen et al. 2016). However, the presented declines of Lee et al. (2017) suggest that there is a factor driving current declines. It could, therefore, be that there is a separate unknown threat impacting the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted actions are known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct research to investigate what may be causing declines, particularly in the west of its range. Conduct surveys to get better estimates of population size and trends.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Monticola explorator. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22708233A118948206. . Downloaded on 14 December 2017.
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