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White-tailed Warbler Poliolais lopezi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is precautionarily suspected that it will undergo a moderately rapid population decline over the next three generations, owing to expected increases in rates of habitat loss, as driven mainly by the expansion of agriculture.

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
Poliolais lopezi is restricted to the Obudu Plateau, eastern Nigeria (Elgood et al. 1994), the mountains of western Cameroon (Stuart 1986) and the island of Bioko (Equatorial Guinea) (Perez del Val 1996). It is locally common in its mainland range, but its status on Bioko is uncertain following reports of widespread deforestation since 1990 (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as locally common (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

Trend justification
The population is inferred to be in decline owing to on-going habitat loss and degradation (del Hoyo et al. 2006), and it is suspected that it will undergo a moderately rapid decline over the next three generations owing to expected increases in the expansion of oil-palm cultivation in its range (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2013).

It is found in dense, moist understorey of mid-altitude and montane forest, also in forest edge and clearings (Stuart 1986), occurring always in small numbers (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2000). It prefers thick bush and tangled undergrowth, especially where Oreacanthus manni is growing (del Hoyo et al. 2006). It occurs at 800-2,200 m on Mt Cameroon, 1,950-2,200 on Mt Manenguba and at 900-1,900 elsewhere in Cameroon, and is found up to 1,600 on Bioko. It feeds mainly on insects, foraging close to the ground. Breeding occurs in October-February in Cameroon and November-January on Bioko. It is probably monogamous and territorial. The nest is a ball or bag of moss with a side entrance, hung 1-1.5 m above the ground from a fern or herb. One or two eggs are laid (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

Forest within the species's range is threatened by unsustainable exploitation for timber and firewood, uncontrolled burning and encroachment for agriculture (Stattersfield et al. 1998). The montane and semi-montane forests of western Cameroon are under increasing pressure from deforestation for gardens (e.g. on Mt Kupe), and in more recent years for establishing large-scale oil-palm plantations, leading to the encroachment of the Bakossi block of forest (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2013).

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation action is known for this species. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain a total population estimate. Assess the status of the population and its habitat on Bioko. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation within its range. Protect important habitat for the species.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2006. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Elgood, J. H.; Heigham, J. B.; Moore, A. M.; Nason, A. M.; Sharland, R. E.; Skinner, N. J. 1994. The birds of Nigeria. British Ornithologists' Union, Tring, U.K.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

Pérez del Val, J. 1996. Las aves de Bioko, Guinea Ecuatorial: guía de campo. Edilesa, Leon.

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.

Stuart, S. N. 1986. Conservation of Cameroon montane forests. International Council for Bird Preservation, Cambridge, U.K.

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

Dowsett-Lemaire, F.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Poliolais lopezi. 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 Sylviidae (Old World warblers)
Species name author (Alexander, 1903)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) -
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species