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Schouteden's Swift Schoutedenapus schoutedeni
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This little-known species is presumed to have a small population which is almost certainly declining as its forest habitat is severely threatened. It is, therefore, classified as Vulnerable.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

17 cm. Dark-coloured swift. Appears all black in the field with medium-forked tail. Similar spp. May be impossible to separate in the field from Scarce Swift S.myoptilus. Voice Unknown.

Distribution and population
Schoutedenapus schoutedeni is known with certainty from only five specimens to the east and north-east of the Itombwe Mountains in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where it appears to be resident. However, there are possible sightings from Bwindi Forest, Uganda (near the border with the DRC), and from Mt Tshiaberimu to the north-west of Lake Edward (DRC) (Sarmiento and Butynski 1997), which indicates that the species may have a less restricted range than previously thought (T. Butynski in litt. 1999).

Population justification
The population is assumed to be small (<10,000) owing to the lack of confirmed records other than five specimens collected during 1956-1972. It is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals, equating to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be declining in line with the clearance and degradation of forest within the species's range.

Until recently, the species was known only from clearings in transitional and lowland forest, at low and intermediate altitudes (c.1,000-1,470 m), but there are now indications that it may also be found over montane forest (up to 2,700 m; T. Butynski in litt. 1999). Breeding takes place in February or March.

Habitat loss is the most likely threat as the Itombwe Forest is under increasing pressure from pastoralists, farmers, pit-sawyers, miners and hunters (Omari et al 1999), although this may be reduced by its recent designation as a community reserve (A. Plumptre in litt. 2007). Clearance for agriculture has increased dramatically in the past few years as corn crops have failed, causing famine (Omari et al 1999). The human population in the area is increasing rapidly, and thousands of refugees from Burundi and Rwanda live in camps at the base of Itombwe's eastern escarpment and to the north (Omari et al 1999).

Conservation Actions Underway
Itombwe Forest has recently been gazetted as a community reserve, although the boundaries still need to be defined (A. Plumptre in litt. 2007). No other potentially relevant conservation action is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct field surveys in the Itombwe Mountains to determine its distribution more accurately and to assess its population size. Once a baseline population estimate has been obtained, continue to monitor population trends. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation within the species's range. Ensure effective protection of Itombwe Forest Community Reserve. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status.

Brooke, R. K. 1971. Taxonomic history of Schoutedenapus schoutedeni. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 91: 93-94.

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.

Dowsett, R. J.; Dowsett-Lemaire, F. 1993. Comments on the taxonomy of some Afrotropical bird species. In: Dowsett, R.J.; Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (ed.), A contribution to the distribution and taxonomy of Afrotropical and Malagasy birds, pp. 323-389. Tauraco Press, Liège, Belgium.

Omari, I.; Hart, J. A.; Butynski, T. M.; Birnashirwa, N. R.; Upoki, A.; M'Keyo, Y.; Bengana, F.; Bashonga, M.; Baguruburnwe, N. 1999. The Itombwe Massif, Democratic Republic of Congo: biological surveys and conservation, with an emphasis on Grauer's gorilla and birds endemic to the Albertine Rift. Oryx 33: 301-322.

Sarmiento, E. E.; Butynski, T. M. 1997. Preliminary report on the Mt. Tshiaberimu survey.

Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

White, C. M. N. 1965. A revised checklist of African non-passerine birds. Government Printer, Lusaka.

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., Taylor, J., Symes, A.

Butynski, T., Plumptre, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Schoutedenapus schoutedeni. 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 Apodidae (Swifts)
Species name author (Prigogine, 1960)
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 29,500 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species