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Yellow-footed Honeyguide Melignomon eisentrauti
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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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.

Difficult to locate. 18 cm. Small, unobtrusive, forest honeyguide. Upperparts dark olive green to brown with paler underparts, especially on throat and lower breast, belly and flanks. The toes and part tarsi are bright yellow. Similar spp. Other similar sized honeyguides have dark feet and tarsi. Zenker's Honeyguide is darker overall, especially on underparts and has less white in the tail. Juvenile Yellow Whiskered Greenbul is similar and has bright yellow feet and part tarsi but lacks white outer tail feathers. Voice Song a series of about 13 clear, emphatic notes each rising in pitch, with the whole series slightly descending and slowing towards the end: tuu-i tuu-i tuu-i tuu-i... tuu tuu tuu (Rainey et al. 2003). Hints Any forest honeyguide seen in central or west Africa should be carefully examined for this species. Calls in the afternoon, from 7 hours after dawn (Dowsett-Lemaire 2008).

Distribution and population
Melignomon eisentrauti has been collected from Cameroon (two records), Liberia (near Mt Nimba, the Wonegizi Mountains, the slopes of Mt Balagizi and south of Vahun) (Gatter 1997), Sierra Leone (Gola Forest), Côte d'Ivoire (Taï Forest, Mt Peko, Marahoué National Park, Cavally and Géoulé Forest Reserves [Rainey et al. 2003], and most recently, Anguédédou Forest Reserve, plus probably Banco National Park [Lachenaud 2006]), Ghana (Kakum Forest Reserve and Atewa Range) and Nigeria (Cross River National Park in 2004 [L. D. C. Fishpool in litt. 2006]). It is likely to occur more widely in West Africa and is probably overlooked in surveys (Holbech 1992, 1996), perhaps due to singing in the afternoon (Dowsett-Lemaire 2008), but is undoubtedly rare and remains very poorly known (Bowden et al. 1995). Further surveys are required, but with a better understanding of the species's distribution and habitat requirements it may well prove to be Least Concern, or perhaps Near Threatened, owing to a small and declining global population (Butchart 2007).

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as rare.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction.

It is found in the mid-strata and canopy of semi-deciduous forest and primary evergreen lowland forest and appears to survive in secondary forest (though it is unlikely to be well adapted to such habitat). At Mt Nimba, it has been observed along logging roads (Gatter 1997). It feeds on insects, pollen, small fruits and seeds (Allport et al. 1989, Bowden et al. 1995). It is presumably a brood-parasite, but the host species remains unknown (Butchart 2007), although it has been seen being chased by Sharpe’s Apalis Apalis sharpii suggesting that this may be a possible host species (Hugo Rainey pers. obs.). Recent records have been from semi-deciduous forest in Cote d’Ivoire suggesting that this may be a favoured habitat (H. Rainey in litt. 2007).

Although habitat throughout the species's range is under much pressure as a result of logging, agricultural encroachment and mining (Stattersfield et al. 1998), lack of records and uncertainty over its dependence on primary forest makes it impossible to assess whether its population is declining rapidly due to forest loss.

Conservation Actions Underway
It has been recorded in Marahoué National Park, Cavally, Géoulé and Anguédédou Forest Reserves (Côte d'Ivoire), Kakum Forest Reserve amd Atewa Range Forest Reserve (Ghana), North Lorma National Forest (Liberia), and Okomu National Park and Cross River National Park (Nigeria). Conservation Actions Proposed
Study threats and clarify its dependence on the presence of primary forest. Study its ecology and if it is a brood-parasite identify the host species. Survey potential lowland forest habitat in West Africa, including afternoon visits.

Allport, G. A.; Ausden, M.; Hayman, P. V.; Robertson, P.; Wood, P. 1989. The conservation of the birds of the Gola Forest, Sierra Leone. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

Bowden, C. G. R.; Hayman, P. V.; Martins, R. P.; Robertson, P. A.; Mudd, S. H.; Woodcock, M. W. 1995. The Melignomon honeyguides: a review of recent range extensions and some remarks on their identification, with a description of the song of Zenker's Honeyguide. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 2(1): 32.

Butchart, S. H. M. 2007. Yellow-footed Honeyguide Melignomon eisentrauti. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 14(2): 146.

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.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 2002. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 7: Jacamars to Woodpeckers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. 2008. On the singing habits of forest honeyguides of the Guineo-Congolian region, with a request for further information . Bulletin of the African Bird Club 15(1): 24-35.

Gatter, W. 1997. Birds of Liberia. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, UK.

Holbech, L. H. 1996. Faunistic diversity and game production contra human activities in the Ghana high forest zone, with reference to the Western Region.

Lachenaud, O. 2006. Les oiseaux du Pare National du Banco et de la Foret Classee de l'Anguedou, Cote d'Ivoire. Malimbus 28(2): 107-133.

Rainey, H., Borrow, N., Demey R. 2003. First recordings of vocalisations of yellow-footed honeyguide Melignomon eisentrauti and confirmed records in Ivory Coast. . Malimbus 25(1): 31-38.

Stattersfield, A. J.; Crosby, M. J.; Long, A. J.; Wege, D. C. 1998. Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for bird conservation. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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
Martin, R, Shutes, S., Symes, A.

Fishpool, L.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Melignomon eisentrauti. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016.

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 Data Deficient
Family Indicatoridae (Honeyguides)
Species name author Louette, 1981
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 17,500 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change