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Banded Wattle-eye Platysteira laticincta
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This species is listed as Endangered because it has a very small range, which is also fragmented and undergoing a continuing decline as a result of pressure from the human use of its montane forest habitat.

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

Taxonomic note
Platysteira peltata and P. laticincta (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) are retained as separate species contra Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993) who include laticincta as a subspecies of P. peltata.

13 cm. Small, black-and-white flycatcher with very obvious, broad, crimson eye-wattles. Glossy, deep bluish-black upperparts, neck, throat and breast. Remaining underparts white. Female has black throat and breast. Voice Discordant whistles, three-to-four-note phrases, similar to song of Black-throated Wattle-eye P. peltata. Hints Relatively easy to see, but has a quiet song and subdued calls.

Distribution and population
Platysteira laticincta is restricted to the Bamenda Highlands of western Cameroon, and is only likely to survive if the Kilum-Ijim forest, the largest remaining forest area in the region, is preserved (D. Thomas in litt. 1996). Research in 1994-1995 found the species in most remaining forest or forest remnants in the Bamenda Highlands and seemingly able to persist in very small forest fragments (<1 km2) (McKay and Coulthard 1996). However, in 1999 and 2000, follow-up surveys found some of these forest fragments had almost completely disappeared, with P. laticincta either absent or only a few pairs remaining (Njabo and Languy 2000). Preliminary research in 1994 estimated the Kilum-Ijim population at 3,000 birds (McKay 1994).

Population justification
Preliminary research in 1994 estimated the Kilum-Ijim population at 3,000 birds, however the species is also found in most of the remaining forest in the Bamenda Highlands, putting the population somewhere in the band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
This species's population is suspected to be declining rapidly, in line with habitat loss and degradation within its range, owing to forest clearance and uncontrolled forest fires.

It is found in montane forest, dominated by species such as Podocarpus, Schefflera and Prunus, where it inhabits thick forest understorey and seems to favour streams or dry stream courses (McKay 1994, McKay and Coulthard 1996). Below 1,800 m it is replaced by its congener the Scarlet-spectacled Wattle-eye P. cyanea (McKay and Coulthard 1996). It breeds in the early dry season, January-March (McKay and Coulthard 1996), with nest-building starting in November (F. Maisels in litt. 1998).

It is under very serious threat from forest clearance for agriculture, grazing, firewood and timber, with birds surviving in forest fragments in imminent danger of extinction (McKay and Coulthard 1996). In 2002, it was observed that Podocarpus trees had been felled at Oku and intensive grazing was taking place on montane grasslands (F. Maisels in litt. 2007). Forest fires in the dry season are the most serious threat, particularly as the species inhabits thick undergrowth and nests close to the ground (F. Maisels in litt. 1998). In March 2000, c.500 ha of forest were burnt around Lake Oku (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000). Uncontrolled burning takes place as a result of fires for forest clearance, cooking fires in the forest, people tending hives, and discarded cigarettes. 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
Local communities are actively engaged in conserving the montane forest, with support from the Kilum-Ijim Forest Project. More sustainable farming techniques are being used to take pressure off the remaining forest. The condition of the Kilum-Ijim forest and its endemic birds is monitored, as well as the overall extent of forest cover in the Bamenda Highlands. Community-based conservation activities were extended to other forest fragments in the Bamenda Highlands in 2000 (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000). Following changes to conservation projects in this region over recent years, forest patrols by local people stopped in areas such as Oku (F. Maisels in litt. 2007). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct more intensive surveys at Kilum-Ijim to ascertain population numbers of the species (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998c, F. Maisels in litt. 1998). Take measures to prevent forest fires (F. Maisels in litt. 1998). Protect as many as possible of the remaining forest fragments in the Bamenda Highlands (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000). Develop strategies for restoring larger blocks of natural forest and connecting corridors (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000).

Related state of the world's birds case studies

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

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.

McKay, C. R. 1994. Survey of Important Bird Areas for Bannerman's Turaco Tauraco bannermani and Banded Wattle-eye Platysteira latincincta in North-west Cameroon, 1994.

McKay, C. R.; Coulthard, N. 1996. The Kilum-Ijim Forests IBA in Cameroon: monitoring biodiversity using birds as indicators.

Njabo, Y. K.; Languy, M. 2000. Surveys of selected montane and submontane forests in the Bamenda Highlands in March 2000.

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., Pilgrim, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

DeMarco, J., Maisels, F., Thomas, D., Whytock, R.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Platysteira laticincta. 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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Banded wattle-eye (Platysteira laticincta) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Platysteiridae (Shrike-flycatchers, wattle-eyes and batises)
Species name author Bates, 1926
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,900 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species