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Kupeornis gilberti

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA AVES PASSERIFORMES TIMALIIDAE

Scientific Name: Kupeornis gilberti
Species Authority: Serle, 1949
Common Name(s):
English White-throated Mountain-babbler, White-throated Mountain-Babbler, White-throated Mountain Babbler
French Timalie à gorge blanche
Synonym(s):
Lioptilus gilberti gilberti Collar and Andrew (1988)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,v) 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. & Whytock, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
Justification:
This species's overall range is very small and its montane forest habitat is threatened and continues to decline in extent and quality at some locations. For these reasons it qualifies as Endangered.

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).

Countries:
Native:
Cameroon; Nigeria
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.
Population Trend: Decreasing

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). 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.

Systems: Terrestrial

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).

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 2012. Kupeornis gilberti. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 02 September 2014.
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