email a friend
printable version
African Green Broadbill Pseudocalyptomena graueri
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species has a small and fragmented range, within which its montane forest habitat continues to be degraded and cleared. Therefore it is likely to have a small and declining population, and is classified as Vulnerable.

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.

10 cm. Small, rotund, short-tailed bird. Overall leaf-green in colour with blue throat, breast and rump. Voice High-pitched and squeaky twittering. Hints Sluggish in movement when feeding, but fluffs body feathers and shivers and trembles and quivers wings when excited and in display. Usually found at 7-20 m in dense foliage, occurring singly, in pairs, or parties of up to 10, often joining mixed-species flocks (Hall et al. 1998).

Distribution and population
Pseudocalyptomena graueri is known from only two areas in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the Itombwe Mountains and the mountains west of Lake Kivu, and one area in south-west Uganda, Bwindi (Impenetrable) Forest. The species is not considered common in Bwindi Forest, where density is probably one per km2, and recent surveys have been unsuccessful in locating the species in Kahuzi-Biéga National Park (A. Plumptre in litt. 2007).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 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 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to have declined at a moderate rate, in line with the clearance and degradation of forest within the species's projected range, and this is expected to increase during the next ten years.

It inhabits primary rainforest (up to 20 m off ground, but usually in middle strata in Bwindi), and also occurs in forest edge and isolated trees in cleared ground (Keith et al. 1992, M. Carswell in litt. 1999). It feeds on seeds, flowers, buds, fruit, beetles, larvae and snails (Keith et al. 1992). The only recorded nest was found 11 m up in a 20 m tree in the outermost branches overhanging a stream, situated in a valley floor with open shrubby vegetation (Keith et al. 1992). At Bwindi, fledged young were being fed in March (M. Carswell in litt. 1999).

Deforestation and forest degradation are the most likely threats throughout its range. Forest in the Itombwe Mountains and Kahuzi-Biéga is under increasing pressure from pastoralists, farmers, pit-sawyers, miners and hunters (Butynski et al. 1997, Hall et al. 1998, Omari et al. 1999). The human population in this volatile 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 (Butynski et al. 1997, Hall et al. 1998, Omari et al. 1999). Clearance for agriculture, particularly along the southern and western edges of gallery montane forest, has increased dramatically in the past few years as maize crops have failed, causing famine (Butynski et al. 1997).

Conservation Actions Underway
It is very well-protected in Bwindi-Impenetrable National Park (T. Butynski in litt. 1999). The Kahuzi-Biéga National Park embraces much habitat west of Lake Kivu, but is under threat (Hall et al. 1998), and the Itombwe Mountains are not protected. Conservation Actions Proposed
Evaluate its distribution and status within the projected range, once the security situation permits this. Carry out regular surveys to monitor population trends, once the security situation is conducive. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation within its projected range. As and when feasible, increase efforts to effectively protect Kahuzi-Biéga National Park. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status, particularly in the Itombwe Mountains.

Butynski, T. M.; Agenonga, U.; Ndera, B.; Hart, J. F. 1997. Rediscovery of the Congo Bay (Itombwe) Owl Phodilus prigoginei. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 4(1): 32-35.

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.

Hall, J. S.; Saltonstall, K.; Inogwabini, B.-I.; Omari, I. 1998. Distribution, abundance and conservation status of Grauer's gorilla. Oryx 32: 122-130.

Keith, S.; Urban, E. K.; Fry, C. H. 1992. The birds of Africa vol. IV. Academic Press, London.

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.

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., Evans, M., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Butynski, T., Carswell, M., Plumptre, A.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Pseudocalyptomena graueri. 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 - African green broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Eurylaimidae (Broadbills)
Species name author Rothschild, 1909
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 18,600 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change