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Forest Ground-thrush Zoothera oberlaenderi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is classed as Near Threatened owing to its moderately small range, in which it is threatened by the clearance and degradation of forest. Recent estimates suggest it may also have a very small population, and if this is confirmed the species would warrant uplisting to a higher threat category.

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.

Turdus oberlaenderi Collar and Andrew (1988)

Distribution and population
Zoothera oberlaenderi has been recorded in the Ituri Forest, where it is uncommon (Plumptre and Mutungire 1996); the Semliki Valley, and the Itombwe Mts in Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as in the Semliki (Bwamba) and Bwindi (Impenetrable) forests in Uganda. It has possibly now been extirpated from parts of Ituri and Semliki, with the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park the only area in Uganda at which the species is known to remain extant (Gottschalk undated).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as known from only five areas from within its small range.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation (del Hoyo et al. 2005).

It is found in lowland and transitional riparian forest at altitudes of 700-2,000 m where it feeds on insects and slugs on the forest floor (Urban et al. 1997, Stattersfield et al. 1998, del Hoyo et al. 2005, Gottschalk and Pomeroy 2010, Gottschalk undated). At Ituri, the species is apparently restricted to mono-dominant forest, not being recorded from mixed-species or secondary forest (Plumptre and Mutungire 1996). It probably breeds during the rainy season and at the end of the dry season (del Hoyo et al. 2005). A concealed, open-cup nest is constructed from dry grasses, strips of vegetation, and plant fibres (Gottschalk and Ampeire 2008). The species is thought to be mostly sedentary, possibly with local movements (del Hoyo et al. 2005).

The species is sensitive to forest alteration (degradation) and deforestation (Plumptre and Mutungire 1996), which are extensive and ongoing within its range, mainly for cultivation, pasture and timber (Stattersfield et al. 1998). These processes are therefore the main threat, especially at Semliki and Itombwe (Wilson and Catsis 1990, Butynski and Kalina 1993).

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation action is known for this species, but it there are protected areas within its range (Gottschalk undated). Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to obtain a total population estimate. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor habitat loss and degradation. Protect suitable habitat for the species.

Butynski, T. M.; Kalina, J. 1993. Further additions to the known avifauna of the Impenetrable (Bwindi) Forest, southwestern Uganda (1989-1991). Scopus 17: 1-7.

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.; Christie, D. 2005. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 10: Cuckoo-shrikes to Thrushes. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Gottschalk, T. K. undated. The status of the Oberländer’s Ground-thrush Zoothera oberlaenderi in Uganda: final report. Justus Liebig University, Giessen.

Gottschalk, T. K.; Ampeire, S. 2008. A nest record of Oberländer's Ground Thrush. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 15(2): 250-252.

Gottschalk, T. K.; Pomeroy, D. 2010. Habitat preferences and status of an elusive forest species: the Oberländer's Ground-thrush Zoothera oberlaenderi in Uganda. Ostrich 81(2): 139-144.

Plumptre, A. J.; Mutungire, N. 1996. The effects of disturbance from shifting cultivation on the understorey bird community in the Ituri Forest, Zaire.

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.

Urban, E. K.; Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 1997. The birds of Africa vol. V. Academic Press, London.

Wilson, J. R.; Catsis, M. C. 1990. A preliminary survey of the forests of the "Itombwe" mountains and the Kahuzi-Biega National Park extension, east Zaire, July-September 1989.

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
Evans, M., Khwaja, N., O'Brien, A., Robertson, P., Taylor, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Zoothera oberlaenderi. 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 Near Threatened
Family Turdidae (Thrushes)
Species name author (Sassi, 1914)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 52,500 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change