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Copper-tailed Glossy-starling Lamprotornis cupreocauda
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species is listed as Near Threatened because ongoing deforestation for agriculture and timber is suspected to be driving a moderately rapid population decline. Any evidence of a greater decline rate may qualify the species for 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.

Distribution and population
Lamprotornis cupreocauda is restricted to the Upper Guinea forests of West Africa, from southern Guinea through south-eastern Sierra Leone, Liberia and southern Côte d'Ivoire, to south-western Ghana (to just east of Atewa, Dowsett and Forbes-Watson 1993, F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2009). There is a single unconfirmed sight record from Togo (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2009). It is generally common, with 2-4 pairs/km2 recorded in mature forest in Liberia (Gatter 1997). In Côte d'Ivoire, it is abundant in Taï National Park (M. Gartshore in litt. 1999), in 1985-1990, it was quite common in Yapo Forest (Demey and Fishpool 1994) and recently it was noted as fairly common in Mt Peko National Park (H. Rainey in litt. 2007). In Ghana, it appears common and widespread but may occur in moderate numbers only, with only small flocks of 5-10 individuals recorded in recent surveys (Holbech 1992, 1996).

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

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

It is a species of forest, forest edge, and gallery forest (Gatter 1997, H. Rainey in litt. 1999). It has been reported to benefit immediately following forest burning when some emergents remain, but to decline in secondary habitats thereafter (Gatter 1997). It feeds on insects, figs, berries and other fruits (Fry et al. 2000). The species nests in holes in dead trees and branches, and the clutch-size may be three. Observations suggest breeding activity between August and February (Fry et al. 2000).

Destruction of forest throughout its range, resulting from commercial logging and clearance for cultivation, is likely to be causing widespread declines.

Conservation Actions Underway
The species occurs in Taï National Park (M. Gartshore in litt. 1999) and Mt Peko National Park (H. Rainey in litt. 2007). Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to obtain a total population estimate. Monitor populations through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation. Increase the area of suitable habitat with protected status.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Demey, R.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 1994. The birds of Yapo forest, Ivory Coast. Malimbus 16: 100-122.

Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Liège, Belgium.

Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 2000. The birds of Africa vol. VI. Academic Press, London.

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.

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
O'Brien, A., Robertson, P., Shutes, S., Taylor, J., Symes, A.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Gartshore, M., Rainey, H.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Lamprotornis cupreocauda. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

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 Sturnidae (Starlings)
Species name author (Hartlaub, 1857)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 345,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change