Kupeornis gilberti 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Leiotrichidae

Scientific Name: Kupeornis gilberti Serle, 1949
Common Name(s):
English White-throated Mountain-babbler, White-throated Mountain Babbler, White-throated Mountain-Babbler
French Timalie à gorge blanche
Lioptilus gilberti ssp. gilberti (Serle, 1949) — Collar and Andrew (1988)
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.
Identification information: 23 cm. Large, brown-and-white forest babbler. Combination of all chestnut-brown body and white face and breast are diagnostic. Greyish-olive wings and tail. Immature has mottled white and brown face and breast. Similar spp. No other bird in its range has white face. Voice Noisy chattering in groups and harsh chrook chrook call. Hints Travels through the forest in flocks of 10-12, often in mixed-species flocks, especially with Grey-headed Greenbul Phyllastrephus poliocephalus. Generally in the canopy, occasionally in the mid- or ground-stratum.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2017
Date Assessed: 2017-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Dami, F., Fotso, R., Hall, P. & Whytock, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Westrip, J.
This species's overall range is small and its montane forest habitat is threatened and continues to decline in extent and quality at some locations. A re-assessment of its extent of occurrence using a Minimum Convex Polygon means it does not meet the threshold for Endangered any more, but it does still warrant listing as Vulnerable.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Kupeornis gilberti is restricted to a few localities in western Cameroon (Rumpi Hills, Bakossi Mountains, Banyang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary [R. Fotso in litt. 1999], Mt Kupe, Mt Manenguba (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999c), Mt Nlonako, Foto near Dschang), and eastern Nigeria (Obudu Plateau). It is common on the Obudu Plateau (Elgood et al. 1994, P. Hall in litt. 1999) and, in 1999, was found to be very common on Mt Manenguba (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999c). However, the two most important sites for the species are the Bakossi Mountains and Rumpi Hills, because of the area of suitable forest remaining (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). In 1998, the estimated population in Bakossi was several thousand individuals (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). Tracewski et al. (2016) estimated the maximum Area of Occupancy (calculated as the remaining tree area within the species’s range) to be c.910 km2.

Countries occurrence:
Cameroon; Nigeria
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:910Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:13000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:6-10Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:NoLower elevation limit (metres):950
Upper elevation limit (metres):2130
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In 1998, the population in Bakossi, Cameroon, one of the most important sites for the species, was estimated at several thousand individuals, thus as a preliminary population estimate the species is placed in the range bracket for 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals. Further documentation is required.

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be in decline owing to the effects of forest clearance for cultivation, logging for timber and firewood, fires and intensive grazing by livestock; and as forest patches become smaller population densities decrease (F. D. Dami in litt. 2016). The likely rate of decline, however, has not been estimated.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:6000-15000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:Yes
No. of subpopulations:2-100Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It appears to be dependent on primary montane forest with high rainfall, but has also been seen in mature secondary growth, including 10 m tall, scrubby but mossy Maesa forest on the southern slopes of Mt Manenguba (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999c), and conifer trees around cattle-ranch buildings on the Obudu Plateau (P. Hall in litt. 1999). It occurs between 950-2,130 m, but its distribution (particularly the altitude) seems well correlated with that of thick epiphytic moss (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 1999). The minimum forest patch size it was found on the Obudu Plateau was 3.4ha (Dami et al. 2014). It is mainly insectivorous, searching for food in moss, epiphytes and crevices in bark. It has been recorded breeding in west Cameroon from June to November, and on the Obudu Plateau in April.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):5.5
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Undisturbed forest throughout its range is under pressure from exploitation for timber and firewood, intensive grazing, fire and clearance for agriculture. Plans for a 70,000 hectare palm-oil plantation threaten to significantly fragment large areas of suitable habitat in southwestern Cameroon if approved (Linder et al. 2011).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
There is an ongoing conservation and development project at Mt Kupe. However, the forest still has no legal protection and there has been a slow extension of farmland on the northern slopes (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). The forests of the Bakossi Mountains are still waiting to be classified as part of a national park (R. Fotso in litt. 2007). The Banyang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary is the focus of a major conservation programme (R. Fotso in litt. 1999). A small area of montane forest is protected on the Obudu Plateau (P. Hall in litt. 1999). The AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute in the University of Jos, Nigeria visit Obudu Plateau every year to monitor the population in the various forest fragments (F. D. Dami in litt. 2016).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct research into the species's ecology and life history. Verify if the Foto forest near Dschang still exists and, if so, recheck the status of the population there (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 1999). Assess the size of the total population. Once a baseline estimate has been obtained, monitor trends in the total population. Monitor habitat trends in the species's range. Designate more protected areas in its range (P. Hall in litt. 1999), including a national park for the Bakossi Mountains.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2017. Kupeornis gilberti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22716655A118493030. . Downloaded on 26 April 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided