Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Fringillidae

Scientific Name: Serinus melanochrous
Species Authority: Reichenow, 1900
Common Name(s):
English Kipengere Seedeater
Taxonomic Notes: Serinus burtoni and S. melanochrous (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) are retained as separate species contra Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993) who include melanochrous as a subspecies of burtoni.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2012-05-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Baker, N.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Evans, M., O'Brien, A., Robertson, P., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
This species is classed as Near Threatened because it has a moderately small range in which it is threatened by habitat clearance and degradation. Its range is suspected to be declining owing to these threats, and if significant declines occur this species may qualify for a higher threat category.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Near Threatened (NT)
2004 Near Threatened (NT)
2000 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1994 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1988 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Serinus melanochrous is endemic to Tanzania where it is confined to the Njombe highlands and the Udzungwa Mountains (N. Baker in litt.). It is found on Mt Rungwe, north and south of Little Ruaha River near Iringa, and south of Mtandika (Fry and Keith 2004). The species is fairly common in Chita Forest at 1,700 m, and Kigogo Forest and Dabaga at 1,800 m. It also occurs at Mufundi and in the Kisinga Rugaro Forest Reserve in the West Ndundulus, where it is not uncommon (Fry and Keith 2004). It may also occur in forests near the Zambian and Malawian borders.

Countries occurrence:
Tanzania, United Republic of
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 30100
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1500
Upper elevation limit (metres): 3000
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 uncommon (Clement 1999).

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be decreasing owing to habitat clearance and degradation, however the rate of decline has not been quantified.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: Unknown Continuing decline of mature individuals: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No
No. of individuals in largest subpopulation: 100

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a bird of high forest and bushland, occurring from 1,500 to 3,000 m (Clement et al. 1993). It feeds on fruit and hard seeds of trees and shrubs and also forages on the ground (Clement et al. 1993).

Systems: Terrestrial
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat: Yes
Generation Length (years): 3.8
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Forest within its range is threatened as a result of clearance for agriculture, replacement with plantations, and selective cutting for timber and firewood (N. Baker in litt.). Although the species's current status is unknown, these threats (combined with its very restricted range) put it at some risk.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
Some montane forest is protected in the Udzungwa Mountains National Park and various forest reserves.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey of all parts of its projected range to assess its distribution, population size and trend. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation within its range. Investigate reasons for its restricted range. Study the species's ecology. Increase the area of suitable habitat that is protected.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Serinus melanochrous. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22720278A38712469. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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