Serinus melanochrous


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

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.

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.

Tanzania, United Republic of
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).
Population Trend: Decreasing

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

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. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 02 September 2015.
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