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Prigogine's Nightjar Caprimulgus prigoginei
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This enigmatic species remains known with certainty from a single specimen, although sound recordings indicate that it may be more widespread. It is thus very difficult to assess its status. It is currently classified as Endangered because it has a very small range, within which forest clearance is likely to be causing declines. If future survey work confirms its presence elsewhere, as is already being suggested in two new countries, this would significantly increase its known range and call for re-assessment of its threatened status.

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.

19 cm. Small nightjar, described from one female specimen. It looks vaguely similar to female Fiery-necked Nightjar C. pectoralis. Voice It is presently not known how to identify this species but if sound recordings of unidentified nightjars prove to be of this species, then its song is very similar to C. natalensis.

Distribution and population
Caprimulgus prigoginei remains known from a single female collected in August 1955 at Malenge, in the Itombwe Mountains of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (Dowsett-Lemaire 2009). A sound recording of two nightjars, in Itombwe at c.1,700 m in 1996, very probably refers to this species (T. Butynski in litt. 1999). Identical tape-recordings were obtained in northern Congo in 1996 (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998a) and south-east Cameroon in 1997 (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2000a), suggesting that the species may be more widespread. Additional records of nightjars that probably refer to this species (Butchart 2007) have come from Gabon in 1985 (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2006, Brosset and Erard 1986), and Congo (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998a, F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2006) and Cameroon (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998b) in the 1990s.

Population justification
The population of this species is assumed to be small (fewer than 10,000 individuals) based on the fact that there are no confirmed records since the original specimen was collected in 1955. It is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals here, equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The species is suspected to be in decline owing to the continued clearance of forest for cultivation and livestock-grazing (Omari et al.1999). The likely rate of decline has not been estimated.

It is possible that the species is restricted to transitional (between lowland and montane) forest in which the type was found at 1,280 m (Louette 1990, Prigogine 1974). However, at this altitude it may equally well be found in either lowland or montane forest (Louette 1990, Prigogine 1974). Based on observations of birds which are probably this species, it appears to prefer forest with a broken canopy (Dowsett-Lemaire 2009).

Forest clearance for smallholder agriculture is a serious threat in Itombwe, where a maize blight since the early 1990s has reduced yields and forced farmers to clear forest for new farms (Omari et al. 1999). Clearance of forest for livestock-grazing, particularly at higher altitudes, is also a threat (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 further surveys in northern Congo and south-east Cameroon and mistnet the species to confirm whether prigoginei or a new species (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2000). Conduct surveys in forest in the region using tape play-back to clarify its range (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2000). Conduct surveys in suitable habitat in the Itombwe Mountains. Facilitate conservation action in collaboration with traditional authorities to limit further habitat degradation (Omari et al. 1999).

Brosset, A.; Erard, C. 1986. Les oiseaux des régions forestières du nord-est du Gabon. Société Nationale de Protection de la Nature, Paris.

Butchart, S. H. M. 2007. Prigogine's Nightjar Caprimulgus prigoginei. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 14(2): 145.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. 2009. The song of presumed Prigogine's Nightjar Caprimulgus prigoginei and its possible occurrence in Lower Guinea. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 16(2): 174-179.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F.; Dowsett, R. J. 1998. Surveys of Oku Mt and other IBAs in NW Province (Cameroon), February-March 1998.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F.; Dowsett, R. J. 1998. Further additions to and deletions from the avifauna of Congo-Brazzaville. Malimbus 20: 15-32.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F.; Dowsett, R. J. 2000. Birds of the Lobéké Faunal Reserve, Cameroon, and its regional importance for conservation. Bird Conservation International 10: 67-87.

Louette, M. 1990. A new species of nightjar from Zaïre. Ibis 132: 349-353.

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.

Prigogine, A. 1974. Contribution à l'étude de la distribution verticale des oiseaux orophiles. Le Gerfaut 64: 75-88.

Further web sources of information
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This species has been identified as an AZE trigger due to its IUCN Red List status and limited range.

Click here for more information about the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE)

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
Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Butynski, T., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Plumptre, A.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Caprimulgus prigoginei. 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 Endangered
Family Caprimulgidae (Nightjars)
Species name author Louette, 1990
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 2,200 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species