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Black-headed Rufous Warbler Bathmocercus cerviniventris
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline owing to the limited impact on the species of forest clearance in lowland areas. Any evidence to suggest a greater rate of decline might qualify the species for uplisting to a higher threat category.

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.

12-13 cm. Small, rufous, brown and black warbler. Black head and breast with chestnut belly and flanks. Brown upperparts, with darker wings and tail. Female drab brown with slightly paler throat. Voice Distinctive, three-note, piercing, insect-like whistle. Hints Creeps along forest floor, cocking tail.

Distribution and population
Bathmocercus cerviniventris has a fragmented range from Guinea (one record from Sérédou but locally common on the Ziama Massif [Bützler 1996]; also recorded from Pic de Fon and Mont Bero Forest Reserves [H. Rainey in litt. 2007]), Sierra Leone (the Nimini Hills, Kono district, also Sandaru and probably Kankordu, and the Kangari Hills [Okoni-Williams 2001], but apparently highly local [P. Robertson in litt. 1998]), Liberia (from the coast to the northern highlands, being frequent on Mt Nimba) (Gatter 1997), Côte d'Ivoire (Mt Nimba and Sipilou in the west, Taï National Park where its preferred habitat is rare [Gartshore et al. 1995], Marahoué National Park [P. Christy per L. D. C. Fishpool verbally 1998], and Gagnoa and Lamto in the south), and Ghana (very few records). In Côte d'Ivoire, future surveys may well locate the species in Mt Peko National Park and mountains east of Mt Nimba (H. Rainey in litt. 1999). In 1997, in Liberia, on the basis of survey density estimates, the population was calculated to be at least 60,000 pairs (Gatter 1997); however, throughout much of its range it would appear to have an extremely local distribution.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as locally common (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be declining moderately rapidly owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

It is found in dense secondary vegetation bordering small creeks and rivers in various forest types (primary and secondary forest, swamp forest, gallery forest, sub-montane forest) and, more rarely, lowland forest (Gartshore et al. 1995, Gatter 1997, Urban et al. 1997). On the Ziama Massif, Guinea, it occurs in humid, open sites near old clearings within mature forest (Bützler 1996). It forages near the ground, always in pairs, on invertebrates (Bützler 1996, del Hoyo et al. 2006). A recently-fledged chick was observed in Sierra Leone during late June, suggesting laying in May (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

Due to its specific habitat requirements the species is probably not at high risk from lowland commercial logging activities. However, such logging will affect adjoining habitat and may cause disturbance, as well as potentially damaging catchment areas and affecting habitat through run-off (H. Rainey in litt. 2007).

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation action is known for this species. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain an up-to-date population estimate. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor deforestation and forest degradation across its range. Protect suitable habitat for the species.

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.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2006. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

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.

Okoni-Williams, A. D.; Thompson, H. S.; Wood, P.; Koroma, A. P.; Robertson, P. A. 2001. Sierra Leone. In: Fishpool, L.D.C.; Evans, M.I. (ed.), Important Bird Areas in Africa and associated islands: Priority sites for conservation, pp. 769-778. Pisces Publications and BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No.11), Newbury and Cambridge, UK.

Urban, E. K.; Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 1997. The birds of Africa vol. V. Academic Press, London.

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
O'Brien, A., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Allport, G., Fishpool, L., Huettmann, F., Rainey, H., Robertson, P., Thompson, H.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Bathmocercus cerviniventris. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016.

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 Near Threatened
Family Sylviidae (Old World warblers)
Species name author (Sharpe, 1877)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 274,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change