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The status and conservation of threatened birds in the Upper Guinea forest

  • Gary Allport (a1)
Summary

There are twenty-one endemic and near-endemic forest birds in the Upper Guinea forest of West Africa. Less than 80,000 km2 of their habitat remains and this is being rapidly degraded and fragmented. Eight threatened and two near-threatened birds were identified by Collar and Stuart (1985) in this region based on the scant information then available. More recent surveys confirm the threatened status of all these birds, but two species, Melaenornis annamarulae and Malimbus ballmanni, should now be considered Vulnerable having previously been placed in the Indeterminate category. Phyllastrephus leucolepis, described since the production of the Red Data Book, is only found in the forest of east Liberia and must be considered Endangered. Records suggest that all three species are restricted to the western part of the Upper Guinea forest. There are two forest areas which are of the highest priority for the conservation of these and the other endemic birds: (i) south-east Liberia/south-west Ivory Coast; (ii) south-east Sierra Leone/northwest Liberia. Ceratogymnasubcylindricus and Phyllastrephus baumanni are recommended for inclusion in the Near-threatened category.

Vingt-et-une espéces forestiéres d'oiseaux endémiques ou quasiment endémiques vivent dans la forêt de Haute-Guinée en Afrique de l'Ouest. A l'époque actuelle leur habitat, qui fût déjà réduit à moins de 80,000 km2, continue d'être rapidement dégradé et fragmenté. Collar et Stuart (1985) identifiérent huit especes menacées plus deux espéces probablement menacées pour la région, basé sur le peu d'information disponible à l'époque. Des investigations plus récentes confirment le statut de toutes ces espéces sauf deux, Melaenornis annamarulae et Malimbus ballmanni, qui fûrent insuffisamment connus, doivent maintenant être considérés vulnérables. Phyllastrephus leucolepis ne fût décrit pour la science qu'après la production du livre rouge et ne se trouve uniquement dans la forêt du Libéria oriental, et doît done être considéré comme en danger. Des observations suggérent que toutes ces espéces soient limitées à la partie occidentale de la forêt de HauteGuinée. Deux régions forestières se révèlent d'être de la plus haute priorité pour la sauvegarde de ces éspèces et des autres oiseaux endémiques: (i) le sud-est du Libéria/sud-ouest de la Côte-d'Ivoire et (ii) le sud-est du Sierra Léone/nord-ouest du Libéria. Nous recommandons d'inclure Ceratogymna subcylindricus et Phyllastrephus baumanni dans la catégorie probablement menacé.

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References
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Bird Conservation International
  • ISSN: 0959-2709
  • EISSN: 1474-0001
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