|Scientific Name:||Anthus melindae|
|Species Authority:||Shelley, 1900|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Near Threatened ver 3.1|
|Reviewer/s:||Butchart, S. & Taylor, J.|
This species is classed as Near Threatened because was thought to have a moderately small range, in which it is potentially threatened by changes in land-use practices. Evidence that the range is smaller and declining might qualify the species for a higher threat category, however recent mapping of the range suggests that it is larger than previously suspected, and the species may in fact warrant downlisting to Least Concern, or listing under other criteria.
|Range Description:||Anthus melindae has a restricted and relatively small range, being endemic to the coastal strip from Mombasa in Kenya north to 3°N in southern Somalia and along the lower reaches of the Tana, Jubba and Shabeelle valleys (Keith et al. 1992). It has been observed to be locally common in both countries (Zimmerman et al. 1996, Ash and Miskell 1998).|
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||The population size of this species has not been quantified; it is considered rare to abundant.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||It inhabits low-lying, short grassland subject to seasonal flooding, where it feeds on insects and other arthropods (Keith et al. 1992). In Kenya, it is most numerous in coastal grasslands, and is widespread but less numerous in riparian grasslands (Lewis and Pomeroy 1989). In southern Somalia, it is most numerous around flood-pans and cultivation, with the subspecies mallablensis being restricted to coastal dunes (Keith et al. 1992). Egg-laying takes place in April-June, during the rainy season in Kenya, and a record of two half-grown nestlings in Somalia in early June suggests similar timing (del Hoyo et al. 2004). This species is monogamous and territorial. Its nest, in which 2-3 eggs are laid, is a deep, thick-walled grass cup, situated in a grass tussock (del Hoyo et al. 2004).|
This species avoids rank grassland, thus any decrease in grazing and burning could render grasslands unsuitable (del Hoyo et al. 2004). Demand for arable and grazing land in Somalia is high, placing increasing pressure on diminishing water-resources, with high levels of grazing (Ash and Miskell 1988). It is not clear how this species responds to such habitat change, but there is no evidence yet that its population is becoming severely fragmented. The Tana River Delta is threatened by large-scale conversion for agriculture (food and biofuels), including Kenyan based organisations wanting to establish huge sugar cane plantations on over 70,000 ha of land, companies from Canada and the UK wanting to grow oil seed crops on over 60,000 ha, possible mining in the sand dunes and prospecting for oil and gas. Kenya's National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) approved these projects after considering their Environmental Impact Assessments, and if they go ahead they will convert an area of over 110,000 ha into plantations (RSPB 2012). In 2011 a high level meeting resulted in the launch of the Tana Delta planning initiative, with the process to take place ofver the forthcoming 18 months and the output to be a long-term strategic land use plan representing a 'truly sustainable' future to the Delta, informed by Strategic Environmental Assessment (RSPB 2012).
Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation action is known for this species. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to assess the population size. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Carry out research into the impact of changes in land-use on the species. Protect areas of suitable habitat for the species.
Ash, J. S.; Miskell, J. E. 1988. Observations on birds in Somalia in 1978--1982, together with a bibliography of recent literature. Scopus 11(3/4): 57-78.
Ash, J. S.; Miskell, J. E. 1998. Birds of Somalia. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, U.K.
del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2004. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 9: Cotingas to Pipits and Wagtails. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: http://www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 19 June 2012).
Keith, S.; Urban, E. K.; Fry, C. H. 1992. The birds of Africa vol. IV. Academic Press, London.
Lewis, A.; Pomeroy, D. 1989. A bird atlas of Kenya. A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam.
RSPB. 2012. Tana River Delta. Available at: http://www.rspb.org.uk/ourwork/casework/details.aspx?id=tcm:9-228564. (Accessed: 22/3/2012).
Zimmerman, D. A.; Turner, D. A.; Pearson, D. J. 1996. Birds of Kenya and northern Tanzania. Helm, London.
|Citation:||BirdLife International 2012. Anthus melindae. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 May 2013.|
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