Cephalophus spadix 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Cephalophus spadix True, 1890
Common Name(s):
English Abbott's Duiker, Minde
French Céphalophe d'Abbott
Taxonomic Notes: No subspecies or geographical variation have been reported (Rovero et al. 2013).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-01-07
Assessor(s): Moyer, D., Jones, T. & Rovero, F.
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M. & Mallon, D.
Abbott's Duiker is confirmed as Endangered. Although population data are scarce, the latest estimate indicates fewer than 1,500 mature individuals in four disparate areas and continuing decline, each one with fragmented subpopulations (17-18 in total). This figure is based on estimated maximum density at sites were it is locally common and total area of suitable habitat available at all sites were its presence has been recently confirmed. In recent years, Abbott's Duiker is known to have become locally extinct in several locations, and thought to have disappeared from others where it had been recorded previously. No subpopulation is estimated to contain >250 mature individuals (largest around 200).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Endemic to Tanzania,where it is found in a several montane and submontane forests in the north, east and south-west. It currently occurs in Mount Kilimanjaro, western Usambara, Rubeho, and Udzungwa mountains, Mt Rungwe, forests of the Southern Highlands (Livingstone, Irungu, Irenga, Ndukunduku, Madehani). Recent surveys have confirmed occurrence in nine discrete forests in Udzungwa, but failed to find them in Madehani (Rovero et al. 2013).

In the Eastern Arc it has probably disappeared from the Uluguru and East Usambara Mountains (Wilson 2001, Moyer 2003, Rovero et al. 2013). Its status in other Eastern Arc forests is unknown, however, recent surveys failed to detect its presence in North Pare, South Nguru and Uluguru Mountains (F. Rovero, unpubl. in Rovero et al. 2013). There are old records from the escarpment forests in eastern Njombe District (Swynnerton and Hayman 1951) but the status of these forests is uncertain and under investigation. Wilson (2001) noted that Abbott's Duiker was still present on the Poroto Mountains in 1958 but the status of that population is also uncertain. A small population is still present on Mount Rungwe and the Livingstone Forest within the new Kitulo National Park. Formerly recorded also from forest patches along the top of the Gregory Rift between Babati and Mbulu. The Udzungwa Mountains and Mount Kilimanjaro might hold the only two viable populations (Rovero et al. 2013).
Countries occurrence:
Tanzania, United Republic of
Additional data:
Lower elevation limit (metres):300
Upper elevation limit (metres):2800
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This seems to be one of the rarest species of duiker. East (1999) estimated a total population of about 2,500 and declining, based on average densities of 1.0/km2 where it is common and 0.1/km2 elsewhere, and an area of occupancy of c. 10,000 km2.

Data are scarce and the total population size is unknown, but since then there has been a dramatic decline due to hunting in potentially suitable habitat such as Udzungwa Scarp FR, Mt Rungwe, West Usumbara mts and West Kilimanjaro, and the population is probably less than 1,500 individuals (Rovero et al. 2013). Maximum densities in the Udzungwa Mountains are estimated at 1.3 individuals/km² (Rovero et al. 2013), i.e. this species occurs at low densities even where locally common.

Udzungwa Mountains subpopulations:
Mwanihana Forest (177 km², 300-2,300 m, within Udzungwa Mountains National Park): locally common.
Luhombero Forest (250 km², 1,350-2,500 m, West Kilombero Forest Reserve/Udzungwa Mountains National Park): locally common (Jones, unpubl.).
Uzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve (180 km², 300-2,050 m): rare.
Matundu Forest Reserve (176 km², 300-1,000 m): rare.
Ukami forest (6 km², 1,100-1,600 m): locally common.
Nyumbanitu Forest Reserve (49 km², 1,350-2,500 m): scarce.

Southern Highlands: very rare, with some 40 individuals estimated in Mount Rungwe and adjacent Livingstone forest (T. Davenport and S. Machaga, unpubl.). They may also persist in a few other Southern Highland forests currently being surveyed.

A new population, estimated at a maximum of 50 individuals, was found in 2006 in the southern Rubeho Mountains (Ilole forest, 30 km²), where the species is locally common (F. Rovero, unpubl.).

Population abundance in Mount Kilimanjaro and West Usambara is unknown.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:1500Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Population severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:17-18Continuing decline in subpopulations:Yes
All individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Found in interior and clearings of mature montane and submontane forest. On Mount Kilimanjaro, this duiker is reported as commonest between 1,300 and 2,700 m (Grimshaw et al. 1995). In the Udzungwa Mountains, Abbott's Duiker has been recorded as low as 300 m in Matundu Forest a large, lowland and semi-deciduous forest (F. Rovero, unpubl.), as well as on the highest peak (Mount Luhombero, 2,600 m; Rodgers and Swai 1988). It is known from disturbed and secondary montane forest and bamboo forest to 2,500 m and occasionally plateau grassland to 2,800 m on Mount Rungwe and in Livingstone-Kitulo in the Southern Highlands (T. Davenport and S. Machaga unpubl.).

Very little is known of Abbott's Duiker ecology and behaviour. This is an extremely secretive species, occurring at low densities and very rarely seen even where it is considered relatively common. Furthermore, it appears to be mainly nocturnal and crepuscular (F. Rovero unpubl.) and, as with most duiker species, probably prefers dense, understorey vegetation.

They have been seen browsing forest understorey leaves, and marshy vegetation in forest clearing; one individual was photographed with a frog in its mouth.

Abbott's Duikers are known to be predated by Common Leopards (Panthera pardus), and juveniles are probably predated by African Crowned Eagles (Stephanoetus coronatus) and pythons (Python spp). In the Udzungwa Mountains, the Lion (Panthera leo) and the Spotted Hyeana (Crocuta crocuta) are also potential predators (Rovero et al. 2013, Moyer unpubl. data).
Generation Length (years):6.3

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is hunted for bushmeat.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): A major threat to this species is snaring, which is taking place at low level within Udzungwa Mountains National Park (Mwanihana Forest), where there is a relatively high level of protection. Snaring has also been reported from other sites (Uzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve, Southern Highlands, West Usambara Mountains), but at higher levels. Abbott's Duiker is also affected by loss of habitat due to agricultural encroachment, and selective logging. Virtually nothing is known of the ecology of this species, but selective logging may be predicted to adversely affect a duiker of the body size and low density of Abbott's Duiker (Struhsaker 1997).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Udzungwa Mountains National Park is patrolled by anti-poaching rangers, and zero utilization of animals is permitted. However, the capture of Abbott's Duiker in snares is still occurring in Mwanihana Forest within the Park. With the exception of Mount Kilimanjaro, where most of the forests were recently included in the National Park, there is no management in all the other sites.

Current work in the Southern Highlands employing hunters in environmental education initiatives in exchange for stopping hunting, has met with some success. It is too early to say if this will have a significant positive impact on Abbott's Duiker populations, although it may prove a valuable model for conservation at other sites and is being carried out alongside the use of Abbott's Duiker as a flagship species in village education programmes.

Major conservation management measures that would enhance the protection of Abbott's Duiker are the expansion of the Udzungwa Mountains N.P. to include important forests currently unprotected, in particular Uzungwa Scarp, Iyondo and Matundu. Also necessary is the inclusion of Mount Rungwe within the new Kitulo N.P. and greater law enforcement enacted in those areas that are currently not adequately protected (such as Southern Highland forests, Usambara and Uluguru Mountains). Critical forest connections, such as the degraded Bujingijila corridor linking Mount Rungwe to Livingstone forest in Kitulo, must be adequately protected.

Citation: Moyer, D., Jones, T. & Rovero, F. 2016. Cephalophus spadix. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T4151A50184413. . Downloaded on 19 September 2018.
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