Merops mentalis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Aves Coraciiformes Meropidae

Scientific Name: Merops mentalis Cabanis, 1889
Common Name(s):
English Blue-moustached Bee-eater
Taxonomic Source(s): del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines. Lynx Edicions BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-10-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S. & Symes, A.
Contributor(s): Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Lindsell, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Symes, A., Taylor, J., Westrip, J.
This species has been uplisted to Near Threatened on the basis that it is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline owing to on-going habitat loss.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Merops mentalis is found in West Africa, occurring in Sierra Leone, south-eastern Guinea, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, southern Ghana, southern Nigeria and western Cameroon (Borrow and Demey 2001, 2004). Despite being widespread, the species generally exists at low densities, even in protected areas (J. Lindsell in litt. 2012).
Countries occurrence:
Cameroon; Côte d'Ivoire; Ghana; Guinea; Liberia; Nigeria; Sierra Leone
Additional data:
Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:1030000
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):UnknownExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):1200
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 reported to be not uncommon and rare to locally common (del Hoyo et al. 2001).

Trend Justification:  The population is suspected to be in moderately rapid decline, owing primarily to habitat loss, which is driven mainly by logging for timber and agricultural encroachment (del Hoyo et al. 2001, F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2012, J. Lindsell in litt. 2012). The decline is not thought to be more severe than this because the species demonstrates some tolerance of habitat fragmentation and degradation.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:UnknownContinuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species shows some dependence on mature forest, being observed in clearings and along the edges of primary forest and old secondary forest (Borrow and Demey 2001, del Hoyo et al. 2001), although it may also feed over agricultural land where a few large trees (alive or dead) remain standing (del Hoyo et al. 2001, F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2012). It appears to prefer evergreen and semi-evergreen forest with a broken canopy and small clearings, also frequenting the edges of forest by roads and swamps (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2012, J. Lindsell in litt. 2012), but it is clearly reliant on areas of intact forest, and is generally not found amongst tree crops and farmbush (J. Lindsell in litt. 2012). It is usually seen in pairs or small family groups (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2012).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):6.2
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species occurs in a region known for rapid and on-going deforestation. Large remnant tracts of forest in Liberia are under intense and increasing pressure from commercial logging and a consequent increase in settlement and small-holder agriculture (Fauna and Flora International 2000). Elsewhere in the Upper Guinea region, forest survives in fragments that are under intense pressure for logging and conversion to agriculture (Fauna and Flora International 2000). Forest in some reserves is being destroyed for teak plantations and cultivation, as well as through illegal logging (e.g. Opro River, Afram Headwaters, Tano Ofin and Atewa Range, Ghana) (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2012). The species's tolerance of some forest degradation and fragmentation implies that it is not undergoing a severe decline.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
This species occurs in a number of protected areas across its range, although the level of protection afforded to these areas varies considerably.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out an analysis of existing records and conduct surveys to study the species's range and population size. Monitor habitat trends across its range. Conduct research into the species's ecology, habitat requirements and tolerance of habitat fragmentation and degradation. Increase the total area of suitable habitat in the species's range that is protected. Improve the effectiveness of protected area management where necessary.

Citation: BirdLife International. 2016. Merops mentalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T22736513A95136294. . Downloaded on 27 May 2018.
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