Sheppardia aurantiithorax 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Passeriformes Muscicapidae

Scientific Name: Sheppardia aurantiithorax
Species Authority: Beresford, Fjeldså & Kiwe, 2004
Common Name(s):
English Rubeho Akalat
Taxonomic Source(s): Beresford, P.; Fjeldså, J.; Kiure, J. 2004. A new species of Akalat (Sheppardia) narrowly endemic in the Eastern Arc of Tanzania. The Auk 121(1): 23-34.
Taxonomic Notes: Described as new to science by Beresford et al. (2004).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(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): Baker, N., Burgess, N. & Fjeldså, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Mahood, S., Symes, A.
This relatively recently described species has been classified as Endangered owing to ongoing habitat loss and fragmentation which is thought to be reducing its already very small range.

Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Endangered (EN)
2004 Not Recognized (NR)
2000 Not Recognized (NR)
1994 Not Recognized (NR)
1988 Not Recognized (NR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Sheppardia aurantiithorax is endemic to Tanzania, where it is restricted to montane forest at 1,660-2,400 m in the Rubeho highland, the small Wota forest in the Wota Mountains, north-west of the Rubehos, the Ukaguru Mountains (Beresford et al. 2004) and Mt Kiboriani (Fjeldså et al. 2010). There is also one record from 400 m altitude just north-east of the Uluguru Mountains, although this is thought to involve a rare case of straggling outside the breeding season (J. Fjeldså in litt. 2012). Though it was first mist-netted in 1989 it was only described in 2004 (J. Fjeldså in litt. 2007). It is considered fairly common within its narrow altitudinal range (J. Fjeldså in litt. 2007).

Countries occurrence:
Tanzania, United Republic of
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO): No
Estimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2: 550
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO): Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO): No
Number of Locations: 2-5
Continuing decline in number of locations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations: No
Lower elevation limit (metres): 1800
Upper elevation limit (metres): 2200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as fairly common.

Trend Justification:  The species is suspected to be declining at a slow to moderate rate, owing to habitat loss and degradation.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: Unknown Continuing decline of mature individuals: Yes
Extreme fluctuations: No Population severely fragmented: No
Continuing decline in subpopulations: Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations: No All individuals in one subpopulation: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It inhabits the understorey of montane moist plateau forest between 1,660 m and 2,400 m (Fjeldså et al. 2010). It tolerates some habitat degradation (J. Fjeldså in litt. 2007).

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): Though its range includes one of the largest intact blocks of forest in the Eastern Arc Mountains, logging of large trees and clearance of forest for agriculture are still a threat and forest is very degraded and patchy in parts of its small range (N. Baker in litt. 2006, J. Fjeldså in litt. 2007, Burgess et al. 2007, Hall et al. 2009). Cannabis cultivation in this remote area occurs on a fairly large scale due to the remoteness of the location (N. Baker in litt. 2006).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
There are a number of forest reserves in the Rubeho mountains, Ukaguru mountains, Uluguru mountains, and covering the Wota forest. These reserves provide some protection, but management effectiveness is low (N. Burgess in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Assess the extent and impact of logging and habitat degradation on populations. Improve management of the Forest Reserves where the species occurs.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2012. Sheppardia aurantiithorax. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T22735022A39741253. . Downloaded on 25 November 2015.
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