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Western Wattled Cuckooshrike Campephaga lobata
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Despite its apparent adaptation to secondary habitat, this species must be seriously threatened by the massive forest destruction taking place across its range and its population may well be declining rapidly. In addition, apparent declines in the well-preserved Gola Forest are unexplained. The suspected rapid overall decline in population means this species is therefore classified as Vulnerable.

Taxonomic source(s)
Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Li
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Lobotos lobatus Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993)

21 cm. Brightly coloured bird. Male has black head with green back, yellowish or orange underparts with bright orange gape which makes it unmistakable. Female slightly duller than male. Similar spp. Very similar to forest orioles, but smaller, and has small black, not large red, bill and obvious orange gape. Voice Only call described is a tzzitt in flight. Hints It is an inconspicuous bird, although sometimes observed in mixed-bird parties.

Distribution and population
Campephaga lobata is endemic to the Upper Guinea forests of West Africa, where it is known from Ghana (very few recent records, but reported from Kakum National Park in 2010 [H. Bouman in litt. 2010]), Côte d'Ivoire (Taï and Marahoué National Parks, Mopri, Mt Nimba and Haute Dodo Forest Reserve [H. Rainey in litt. 2007]), Liberia (widespread), Guinea (several observations in Ziama Forest in 1992 [Bützler 1996] and Pic de Fon and Mont Béro Forest Reserves [H. Rainey in litt. 2007]) and Sierra Leone (Gola Forest, where it would appear to have suffered a serious decline [Allport et al. 1989]). In Liberia, it has recently been described as a locally rare to uncommon resident, and the population in 1997 was estimated to be a minimum of 20,000 pairs (Gatter 1997). In Côte d'Ivoire, recent sightings in Taï National Park suggest that the species is secure there (Gartshore et al. 1995). In Sierra Leone, surveys of Gola Forest in 1988-1989 indicated a population decline (Allport et al. 1989) and in 2007, the species was seen there twice during extensive surveys, with both records from the southern part of Gola North (F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R.J. Dowsett per E. Klop in litt. 2007), but not recorded since (J. Lindsell in litt. 2012). Although the species is now considered rare at this site, it may be overlooked owing to its discreet behaviour (E. Klop in litt. 2007).

Population justification
In Liberia, the population has been estimated at a minimum of 20,000 pairs (Gatter 1997), and thus the total population has been placed in the range 20,000-49,999 individuals, however the number given for Liberia may be a significant overestimate (J. Lindsell in litt. 2012), in part because the species may be absent from apparently suitable forest, and the overall population may have experienced serious declines over the past three generations (14 years). New data are therefore much needed required to refine this population estimate.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be declining in line with high rates of forest clearance within the species's range. A population decline was evident in Gola Forest by 1988-1989 (Allport et al. 1989), and the species was seen twice during extensive surveys in 2007 (F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R.J. Dowsett per E. Klop in litt. 2007) and not since, in contrast to the 1970s, when it was seen quite frequently (J. Lindsell in litt. 2007, 2012). Reasons for the apparent decline in Gola are unknown as there are no obvious changes in forest structure (J. Lindsell in litt. 2012).

It is found in the canopy of tall trees in lowland rainforest, up to 600 m in Pic de Fon and Mont Béro Forest Reserves in Guinea (H. Rainey in litt. 2007), sometimes near to rivers, and also in open swamp-forest (Allport et al. 1989, Gartshore et al. 1995, Gatter 1997). However, it would seem to tolerate some habitat alteration, as observations in Liberia have been in both primary and logged forest (usually at heights of between 30-50 m [Gatter 1997]) and, in Côte d'Ivoire, it has been observed in Terminalia ivorensis plantations, natural managed forest and disturbed forest (Gartshore et al. 1995). In addition, during surveys in 2007, one bird was observed in a patch of Gola Forest that had been seriously damaged by hurricanes (F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R.J. Dowsett per E. Klop in litt. 2007). It is also known to breed in mature logged forest (Allport et al. 1989, P. Robertson in litt. 1998). Diet includes caterpillars, grasshoppers and small black seeds.

Remaining large tracts of forest in Liberia are under intense and increasing pressure from commercial logging and a consequent increase in settlement and smallholder agriculture (Anon. 2000). Elsewhere in the Upper Guinea region, forest survives in fragmented patches which are under intense pressure for logging and agriculture (Anon. 2000). Disturbance in Gola Forest has compromised areas of habitat once considered primary forest (J. Lindsell in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Underway

Taï National Park is one of the largest and best-preserved areas of Upper Guinea forest, and Gola Rainforest National Park in Sierra Leone is another large area that is also now well-protected (J. Lindsell in litt. 2012).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys to determine the species's status in Gola Forest (H. S. Thompson in litt. 1999, E. Klop in litt. 2007). Conduct surveys to evaluate its presence and status in Ghana (Holbech 1992, 1996). Obtain an up-to-date total population estimate. Monitor rates of forest clearance across the species's range.. In Taï National Park, take measures to mitigate the effects of rapid land-use changes outside the park (Gartshore et al. 1995). In Taï National Park and Gola Rainforest National Park, ensure that future conservation includes support for local people to contribute to research, management and tourism in and around the park (Gartshore et al. 1995, H. S. Thompson in litt. 1999). Ensure forest connectivity is maintained between Gola Rainforest National Park in Sierra Leone and Gola National Forest in Liberia (J. Lindsell in litt. 2012). Ensure effective management of Taï National Park and peripheral forests (e.g. Haute Dodo and Cavally Forest Reserves) (H. Rainey in litt. 2007). Lobby for inclusion of Nzo Faunal Reserve within Taï National Park boundaries (H. Rainey in litt. 2007).

Allport, G. A.; Ausden, M.; Hayman, P. V.; Robertson, P.; Wood, P. 1989. The conservation of the birds of the Gola Forest, Sierra Leone. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Bützler, W. 1996. Etudes et protection de la biodiversite dans les massifs forestiers de Ziama et de Diecke.

Collar, N. J.; Stuart, S. N. 1985. Threatened birds of Africa and related islands: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, and International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Cambridge, U.K.

Gartshore, M. E.; Taylor, P. D.; Francis, I. S. 1995. Forest birds in Côte d'Ivoire. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Gatter, W. 1997. Birds of Liberia. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, UK.

Holbech, L. H. 1996. Faunistic diversity and game production contra human activities in the Ghana high forest zone, with reference to the Western Region.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Shutes, S., Taylor, J., Symes, A.

Bouman, H., Klop, E., Lindsell, J., Rainey, H., Robertson, P., Thompson, H.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Taylor, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Campephaga lobata. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Campephagidae (Cuckoo-shrikes)
Species name author (Temminck, 1824)
Population size mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 343,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change