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Taita Thrush Turdus helleri

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) 
Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(ii) 
Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(i,ii); D1+2 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2015 Critically Endangered
2012 Critically Endangered
2009 Critically Endangered
2008 Critically Endangered
2004 Critically Endangered
2000 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Critically Endangered
1988 Threatened

Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency High
Land mass type continent
Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 150 medium
Area of Occupancy breeding/resident (km2) 4 good
Number of locations 3 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 930 good Estimated 1997
Population trend Decreasing poor Suspected -
Number of subpopulations 3 - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 6.1 - - -
Population justification: Waiyaki and Samba (2000) estimate the population to number 1,400 individuals, roughly equivalent to 930 mature individuals.

Trend justification: The population is suspected to be in decline as the species's montane forest habitat has been severely fragmented and continues to decline in both extent and quality, however the rate of decline has not been quantified.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Kenya Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Kenya Taita Hills Forests site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane Major resident
Altitude 1200 - 1725 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 7
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Wood & pulp plantations / Scale Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 7
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases / Unspecified species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Reduced reproductive success
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression / Increase in fire frequency/intensity Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Causing/Could cause fluctuations Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem conversion, Species mortality

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Turdus helleri. Downloaded from on 01/12/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 01/12/2015.

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 Critically Endangered
Family Turdidae (Thrushes)
Species name author (Mearns, 1913)
Population size 930 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 150 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species