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Somali Grosbeak Rhynchostruthus louisae
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is classified as Near Threatened because of concerns that it is has a moderately small population which may be declining owing to habitat degradation and drought. However it is very poorly known and field research is urgently needed to accurately assess its threat status.

Taxonomic note
Rhynchostruthus socotranus (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into R. socotranus, R. percivali and R. louisae following Kirwan and Grieve (2007).

Identification. Adult male, grey-brown with black bill; dark face mask; wings and tail with yellow patches. Females somewhat duller. Juveniles streaky and face mask indistinct.

Distribution and population
Rhynchostruthus louisae is endemic to Somalia where it is restricted to mountains from near the Ethiopian border east to the western foothills of Jebel Hantara. In the 1930s it was considered fairly common in Mt Wagar and Golis Mountains (12 collected in two weeks), but there are very few recent records. It is likely to have declined, but trends could, in part, reflect the almost total lack of observer coverage within the species's range.

Population justification
The species is poorly known, but Kirwan and Grieve (2007) suggest its population numbers fewer than 10,000 individuals. It is placed in the population band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals, equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
This species is poorly known but probably in slow to moderate decline owing to habitat degradation and recent droughts.

It inhabits rocky ground with scattered thorn bushes and giant euphorbias Euphorbia abessinica, on whose fruit it is said to feed. It occurs singly, in pairs or small groups.

It may be declining, perhaps as a result of habitat loss (particularly in the western part of its range), but poor rainfall in recent years may be more important, although there were good rains in 2005-2006 (J. Miskell in litt. 2006).

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey to determine current range and population. Asses the extent and impact of habitat loss on populations. If appropriate, protect habitat at important sites.

Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 2004. The birds of Africa vol. VII. Christopher Helm, London.

Kirwan, G. M.; Grieve, A. 2007. Studies of Socotran birds II. One, two or three species: towards a rational taxonomy for the Golden-winged Grosbeak Rhynchostruthus socotranus. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 14(2): 159-169.

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
Mahood, S. & Symes, A.

Miskell, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Rhynchostruthus louisae. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

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 Fringillidae (Finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers)
Species name author Lort Phillips, 1897
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 23,900 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species