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Yellow-throated Seedeater Serinus flavigula
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This species has a very small range, within which it has been recorded only rarely (on which occasions it has usually been assessed as uncommon). It is therefore estimated to have a small population, and is increasingly threatened by habitat alteration. For these reasons the species is listed as Endangered. Extensive and intensifying land-use changes within its range pose ever more serious threats, and the full extent and consequences of these require investigation.

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.

11 cm. Small canary. Overall greyish-brown on upperparts. Slight streaking on mantle. Dull greenish-yellow rump. Whole throat and upper breast pale, primrose-yellow. Remainder of underparts off-white, with faint streaking below yellow on upper breast. Similar spp. Kenya Yellow-rumped Seedeater S. reichenowi has yellow rump, lacks yellow throat. Voice Jumbled, chirpy song. Call a typical, canary-like zeee-zsreee.

Distribution and population
Serinus flavigula was known from three century-old specimens (the most recent dating from 1886) taken in one small area (only 30 km2) of Shoa province, eastern Ethiopia, until its rediscovery within this range in March 1989, when at least seven birds were found and the species judged uncommon (Ash and Gullick 1990). In 1996, the species was found in two more locations: Awash National Park (an IBA), where it was judged to be not uncommon, with 25+ birds seen on Mt Fantalle; and Aliyu Amba-Dulecha (an IBA) in the eastern lowlands, where it was uncommon (EWNHS 1996). The species has also been reported from Aigaber, Ambokarra, and Melka Jebdu, most of them in Shoa province (Vivero in litt. 2003); two of these sites are so close together that they should be considered the same locality (Vivero in litt. 2003). It is likely that the species is restricted to the present area, as it is an established centre of endemism.

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 250-999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to on-going habitat alteration and disturbance, although the likely rate of decline has not been estimated.

Little is known of this species's ecology, but it would seem to prefer semi-arid desert scrub, savannah with scattered trees, thick patches of scrub on rocky hill sides, and grasslands, especially those with the tussock-grass Cymbopogon and small shrubs like Lavandula, its favoured food (EWNHS 1996). It has been recorded along the valley of a small stream at 1,400-1,500 m. The species has never been recorded from cultivated or highly degraded land and seems highly susceptible to habitat alteration and human disturbance (Vivero in litt. 2003). The only reported nest was found on top of a small Acacia bush on the rim of Mt Fantalle crater in Awash National Park in 1999 (Vivero in litt. 2003).

The major threat is habitat alteration and disturbance, for which the species appears to have little tolerance (Vivero in litt. 2003). Considerable portions of its range are affected by fire and conversion to farmland (EWNHS 1996). The Awash National Park is threatened by increasing human pressure and has been threatened by tribal conflicts (EWNHS 1996). As of November 2007, there were no tribal conflicts in the species's range (M. Wondafrash in litt. 2007). Such conflicts typically last for short periods of time and are not thought to significantly threaten the species (M. Wondafrash in litt. 2007). Pastoralists and their livestock have now moved into Awash National Park and fires are a regular occurrence (EWNHS 1996).

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs in Awash National Park, but the extent of protection that this confers is limited. No species-specific conservation action or fieldwork is being undertaken at present. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys of its distribution and population numbers, in order to evaluate its conservation status (EWNHS 1996). Study its habitat preferences and feeding requirements, to help evaluate its conservation status (EWNHS 1996). Determine whether the population in Awash National Park is contiguous with that at Aliyu Amba-Dulecha (Vivero in litt. 2003). Improve the protection of Awash National Park. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status.

Ash, J. S.; Gullick, T. M. 1990. Serinus flavigula rediscovered. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 110: 81-83.

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.

EWNHS. 1996. Important Bird Areas of Ethiopia: a first inventory. Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society, Addis Ababa.

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
Ekstrom, J., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Vivero, J., Wondafrash, M.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Serinus flavigula. 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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Yellow-throated seedeater (Serinus flavigula) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Fringillidae (Finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers)
Species name author Salvadori, 1888
Population size 250-999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 4,600 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species