Cephalophus silvicultor 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Cetartiodactyla Bovidae

Scientific Name: Cephalophus silvicultor (Afzelius, 1815)
Common Name(s):
English Yellow-backed Duiker
French Céphalophe à dos jaune, Céphalophe géant
Spanish Duiquero de Lomo Amarillo
Taxonomic Notes: Four subspecies have been named (Kingdon and Lahm 2013).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-01-07
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hoffmann, M. & Mallon, D.
The species is widespread and reasonably common, with a total population estimated in 1999 at more than 150,000 individuals. However, it is suspected to be close to meeting Vulnerable under criterion A2 and A4, past and ongoing decline of 20-25% over 3 generations (19 years) starting in 2008, and based on intensive levels of poaching and snaring, and reported site extirpations. Its long-term survival will depend on effective protection of key areas in the equatorial forest and savanna woodland zones of West and Central Africa, as national parks and equivalent reserves and effectively managed hunting zones.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Yellow-backed Duiker has the widest distribution of the forest duikers, ranging from south-western Senegal through West Africa to south-western South Sudan and south-west Uganda, east to the Albertine Rift and south to north-central Angola and Zambia; they also occur in the Mau forest in south-west Kenya (Kingdon and Lahm 2013). They are now considered extinct in The Gambia (East 1999), although whether they actually ever formerly occurred is uncertain (Grubb et al. 1998). They were thought to have been extirpated from Rwanda (East 1999), but have been confirmed as surviving in the Nyungwe Forest (F. Mulindahabi and A. Vedder pers. comm. in Kingdon and Lahm 2013). Now considered rare in Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda and over much of the periphery of the range (Kingdon and Lahm 2013, and references therein).

Recent presence in Chad is unconfirmed (Kingdon and Lahm 2013) and in Uganda the only confirmed site is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (East 1999).
Countries occurrence:
Angola; Benin; Burkina Faso; Burundi; Cameroon; Central African Republic; Congo; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Côte d'Ivoire; Equatorial Guinea; Gabon; Ghana; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Kenya; Liberia; Nigeria; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Sudan; Togo; Uganda; Zambia
Possibly extinct:
Regionally extinct:
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1200
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:East (1999) produced a total population estimate of about 160,000 individuals, based on a density of 1.0/km2 where they were common and 0.1/km2 elsewhere. recorded densities range form 0.9 to 2.1/km2 (Kingdon and Lahm 2013).

The population trend is generally decreasing, except for some areas where hunting pressures are low because of low human populations and/or effective protection against poaching.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Throughout most of its range it occurs in moist lowland and montane forests (primary and secondary), forest-savanna mosaics, gallery forests, thickets and isolated forest patches within moist savanna woodlands; also present in plantations and farm bush; in montane areas it occupies bamboo thickets and steep wooded slopes (East 1999, Kingdon and Lahm 2013). In Angola recorded in miombo woodland (P. Vaz Pinto pers comm. December 2015).
Generation Length (years):6.3

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species was formerly subject to strict taboos that once protected it in some parts of its range, and it is still considered a non-preferred game species in some areas. In Gabon, where it is also believed to be a 'were-animal', 17% of 144 villagers sampled declared it to be non-edible (Lahm 2002). However, the Yellow-backed Duiker is now declining over most of its range due to intensive and unregulated hunting and the disappearance of taboos.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In much of its range, especially outside protected areas, it has been reduced to low numbers or eliminated by forest destruction, and encroachment of human settlements, coupled with uncontrolled hunting for bushmeat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: About one-third of this estimated population occurs within protected areas: Ziama and Diécké (Guinea); Gola Forest (Sierra Leone); Mbam Djerem, Lobéké (Cameroon); sevral national parks in Gabon; Odzala and Nouabalé-Ndoki (Republic of Congo), Monte Alén N.P. (Equatorial Guinea), Bwindi Impenetrable and Queen Elizabeth NPs (Uganda) Kafue and Kasanka NPs (Zambia); Okapi Faunal Reserve (DR Congo) (East 1999, Kingdon and Lahm 2013).

Listed on CITES Appendix II.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability:Suitable season:resident 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
suitability:Marginal season:resident 
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.1. Harvest management
3. Species management -> 3.1. Species management -> 3.1.2. Trade management

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
  Action Recovery plan:No
  Systematic monitoring scheme:No
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
  Area based regional management plan:No
  Invasive species control or prevention:No
In-Place Species Management
  Harvest management plan:No
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:No
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
  Subject to recent education and awareness programmes:No
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.4. Scale Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.1. Intentional use (species is the target)
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
2. Conservation Planning -> 2.1. Species Action/Recovery Plan
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.2. Harvest level trends

Bibliography [top]

East, R. (compiler). 1999. African Antelope Database 1998. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Grubb, P., Jones, T.S., Davies, A.G., Edberg, E., Starin, E.D. and Hill, J.E. 1998. Mammals of Ghana, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. Trendrine Press, Zennor, St Ives, Cornwall, UK.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 30 June 2016).

Kingdon, J. and Lahm, S. A. 2013. Cephalophus silvicultor Yellow-backed Duiker. In: J. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds), The Mammals of Africa, pp. 288-293. Bloomsbury, London, UK.

Wilson, V.J. 2001. Duikers of Africa: Masters of the African Forest Floor. Directory Publishers, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

Citation: IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group. 2016. Cephalophus silvicultor. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T4150A50184147. . Downloaded on 22 June 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided