email a friend
printable version
Mount Kupe Bush-shrike Telophorus kupeensis
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information
BirdLife Species Champion Become a BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme Supporter
For information about BirdLife Species Champions and Species Guardians visit the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme.

This species qualifies as Endangered because it has a very small range, and is likely to have an extremely small population. Furthermore, the quality of its habitat on Mt Kupe is declining such that the future of the species there is increasingly uncertain (Collar and Stuart 1985).

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.

Malaconotus kupeensis Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993), Telophorus kupeensis Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Telophorus kupeensis BirdLife International (2000)

20 cm. Grey, green and white shrike. Combination of white throat contrasting with grey underparts and black mask unmistakeable. Similar spp. Grey-green Bush-shrike T. bocagei has white, not grey, underparts. Voice Song a loud, babbler-like chatter thec-thec, kh-kh-kh ending in a series of tchrraa-tchrraa-tchrraa (Dowsett-Lemaire 1999). Hints Usually observed singly or in pairs, though recent sightings have been in mixed bird parties (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d, R. Fotso in litt. 1999).

Distribution and population
Telophorus kupeensis was thought to be endemic to the small forest (c.21 km2) on Mt Kupe, western Cameroon, where only seven pairs were known to be present, but has now been discovered at two additional localities. The first includes two sites in the Bakossi Mountains: one near Kodmin (N. Borrow in litt. 2002) and the other near Lake Edib, where the area of suitable habitat is about eight times that on Mt Kupe (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). The second locality is the southern sector of the Banyang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary, where a single bird was seen in May 1999 (R. Fotso in litt. 1999). If the altitudinal range and status of the species near Lake Edib are similar to the situation on Mt Kupe, the population in central Bakossi could be in the order of c.50 pairs (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). In 1999, the species was not located during surveys on nearby Mt Nlonako, north Bakossi Mountains, or on the southern slopes of Mt Manenguba (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999c, Fotso et al. 2001, Dowsett-Lemaire 2004), nor was it located on Mt Manenguba during surveys in March 2000 (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2000b, Dowsett-Lemaire 2004).

Population justification
If the altitudinal range and status of the species near Lake Edib are similar to those on Mt Kupe, the population in central Bakossi could be c.50 pairs, thus the population is best placed in the range 50-249 mature individuals. This equates to 75-374 individuals in total, rounded here to 70-400 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline at an unquantified rate owing to the clearance of the species's forest habitat for agriculture (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d; F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt.1999).

It is found in primary forest and, on Mt Kupe, has only been observed in areas where the understorey is relatively open. Its altitudinal range is 950-1,450 m on Mt Kupe, 1,000-1,250 m near Lake Edib (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d, Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2000b, Faucher 1998) and the single dead individual found at Kodmin was at 1,485 m (N. Borrow in litt. 2002). It feeds on insects.

On Mt Kupe, forest is being cleared for farmland, particularly on the south, south-west and east slopes, in some areas up to 1,500 m (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 1999) and up to 1,100-1,200 m on the northern slopes (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). Forest is still open to logging concessions in the Bakossi Mountains (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d) and a road was under construction which would open the area up to small-scale logging activities (C. Bowden in litt. 2003). Plans for a 70,000 ha palm oil plantation threaten to significantly fragment large areas of suitable habitat in the southwestern Cameroon if approved (Linder et al. 2011).

Conservation Actions Underway
There is an ongoing conservation and development project at Mt Kupe. Forest in the southern sector of Banyang Mbo is relatively intact and protected due to its inaccessability, and the wildlife sanctuary there is the focus of a major conservation programme (R. Fotso in litt. 1999). Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey other areas where the species could occur. Conduct research to confirm the altitudinal range and status of the species in the Bakossi mountains (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). Survey the Banyang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary to establish the species's status there (R. Fotso in litt. 1999). Conduct surveys to clarify the species's ecological requirements (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999c). Investigate the species's feeding ecology and territory size through colour-ringing studies (Dowsett-Lemaire 2004). Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status.

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-Lemaire, F. 1999. First observations on the territorial song and display of the Kupe Bush Shrike Malaconotus kupeensis. Malimbus 21: 115-117.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. 2004. On sexual dimorphism and vocal behaviour in the Mount Kupe Bush Shrike Malaconotus kupeensis. Malimbus 26(1-2): 32-34.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F.; Dowsett, R. J. 1998. Zoological survey of small mammals, birds and frogs in the Bakossi and Kupe Mountains, Cameroon.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F.; Dowsett, R. J. 1999. Survey of birds and amphibians on Mt Manenguba, Mt Nlonako, north Bakossi and around Kupe in 1988-99.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F.; Dowsett, R. J. 2000. Further biological surveys of Manenguba and Central Bakossi in March 2000, and an evaluation of the conservation importance of Manenguba, Bakossi, Kupe and Nlonako Mts, with special reference to birds.

Faucher, I. 1998. Annotated list of bird species observed in the Bakossi Mountains between March and November 1998.

Fotso, R.; Dowsett-Lemaire, F.; Dowsett, R. J.; Cameroon Ornithological Club; Scholte, P.; Languy, M.; Bowden, C. 2001. Cameroon. In: Fishpool, L.D.C.; Evans, M.I. (ed.), Important Bird Areas in Africa and associated islands: Priority sites for conservation, pp. 133-159. Pisces Pubications and BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No.11), Newbury and Cambridge, UK.

Linder, J.M.; Laurence, W.F.; Struhsaker, T.T.; Ehrlich, P.R.; Raven, P.H.; Fredriksson, G.; Bradshaw, C.J.A.; Brook, B.W.; Koh, L.P; Waltert, M. 2012. An Open Letter about the Environmental and Social Impacts of a Massive Oil Palm Development in Cameroon.

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

Borrow, N., Bowden, C., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Fotso, R., Whytock, R.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Telophorus kupeensis. 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 Endangered
Family Malaconotidae (Helmetshrikes, bushshrikes and puffbacks)
Species name author (Serle, 1951)
Population size 50-249 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 200 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species