email a friend
printable version
Ursula's Sunbird Nectarinia ursulae
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species is classified as Near Threatened because it is thought to occupy a moderately small range, in which it is potentially threatened by deforestation. If surveys find that the species has a small range, and that habitat destruction is likely to be causing this to decline, the species may qualify for 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.

Distribution and population
Nectarinia ursulae is restricted to Mt Manenguba (discovered on the southern slopes in 1999 [Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999c]), Mts Kupe and Nlonako, forest near Dschang, the Bakossi Mountains, Rumpi Hills and Mt Cameroon, Cameroon, and Bioko, Equatorial Guinea (Perez del Val 1996). On Bioko, the species is known from only a few records (Perez del Val 1996). Surveys in 1991 and 1992 found it to be common in the Rumpi Hills (Rodewald et al. 1994). In 1998, it was found to be common in the Bakossi Mountains (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). In the 1980s, it was recorded as being frequent to common on Mts Cameroon and Nlonako (Stuart 1986) and throughout the 1990s it is known to have been common throughout the forest on Mt Kupe (Bowden 1998a).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as uncommon, although probably overlooked (Cheke et al. 2001).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction, however the rate of decline has not been quantified.

The species generally inhabits primary and secondary forest, as well as low shrubs at forest edges and in upland habitat (Cheke and Mann 2001). On Bioko, the species is known only from primary forest between 1,000 and 1,200 m (Perez del Val 1996). In Cameroon, it is a species of intermediate altitudes, from 950-2,050 m, where it is found in mature forest and forest clearings (Stuart 1986). It has been recorded down to at least 1,100 m in the Bakossi Mountains (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). It feeds on invertebrates, including ants and spiders, as well as nectar and seeds (Cheke and Mann 2001). The nest, in which 1-2 eggs are laid, is made from moss, roots and spiders' webs, with a side entrance, and is situated on a low branch, creeper, liana or shrub (Cheke and Mann 2001).

Although the species is not immediately threatened, it does appear to be dependent on largely undisturbed forest within quite a small range, and so is potentially at risk from further forest clearance.

Conservation Actions Underway
It has been recorded from Nta Ali (Cheke and Mann 2001) and Rumpi Hills (Rodewald et al. 1994, Cheke and Mann 2001) Forest Reserves, at least. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys to obtain a total population estimate. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of deforestation within its range. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected area status.

Bowden, C. G. R. 1998. The birds of Mount Kupe, Southwest Cameroon.

Cheke, R. A.; Mann, C. F.; Allen, R. 2001. Sunbirds: a guide to the sunbirds, flowerpeckers, spiderhunters and sugarbirds of the world. Christopher Helm, London.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F.; Dowsett, R. J. 1998. Zoological survey of small mammals, birds and frogs in the Bakossi and Kupe Mountains, Cameroon.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F.; Dowsett, R. J. 1999. Survey of birds and amphibians on Mt Manenguba, Mt Nlonako, north Bakossi and around Kupe in 1988-99.

Pérez del Val, J. 1996. Las aves de Bioko, Guinea Ecuatorial: guía de campo. Edilesa, Leon.

Rodewald, P. G.; Dejaifve, P. A.; Green, A. A. 1994. The birds of Korup National Park and Korup Project Area, Southwest Province, Cameroon. Bird Conservation International 4: 1-68.

Stuart, S. N. 1986. Conservation of Cameroon montane forests. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

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., Robertson, P., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Nectarinia ursulae. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

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 Nectariniidae (Sunbirds)
Species name author (Alexander, 1903)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 27,800 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species