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Pulitzer's Longbill Macrosphenus pulitzeri
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This poorly known species is thought to have a very small population, which is inferred to be in decline owing to habitat loss and degradation; it is therefore listed as Endangered.

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.

13 cm. Small, short-tailed, thin-billed, warbler. General body coloration is dull olive-brown, paler on belly and greyish on face. Voice Series of high-pitched, sparrow-like notes, repeated slowly, uttered explosively and more softly, with some variation: e.g. tee-tchyoi and tee, ti-twuh. Hints Very elusive and difficult to observe as it favours dense foliage.

Distribution and population
Macrosphenus pulitzeri is known from the escarpment of western Angola. It is very common in disturbed areas and its range is almost certainly continuous between Kumbira Forest and Chongoroi (M. Mills in litt. 2007, Mills 2010), probably occurring in a number of relict forest patches and thickets on the escarpment. Records from 2003 came from a large forest block which survives near the village of Kumbira and in secondary bush near the town of Seles (C. Cohen, M. Mills and C. Spottiswoode in litt. 2003). It has been found to be common in both the Bango and Gungo areas (M. Mills in litt. 2007, Mills 2010), and is probably more numerous than previously feared (Mills 2010). Its population is thought to almost certainly exceed 1,000 mature individuals (Mills 2010).

Population justification
This species's population is thought to almost certainly exceed 1,000 mature individuals (Mills 2010), but is nevertheless thought to be very small, so it is placed in the band for 1,000-2,499 mature individuals, equivalent to c.1,500-3,800 individuals in total. Its distribution is described as continuous along the Angolan Scarp (Mills 2010), so it is presumed to form one subpopulation; however, improved knowledge may change this.

Trend justification
It is said that this species's habitat is being cleared very rapidly (M. Mills in litt. 2013, F. Olmos in litt. 2013); however, it occupies modified habitats and until widespread quantitative data are available the population is suspected to be in decline at a moderate rate, owing to the continued clearance and burning of its habitats for subsistence agriculture.

It is found in dry evergreen forest, secondary growth, dry thickets and abandoned coffee plantations at 800-1,030 m (M. Mills in litt. 2007, Mills 2010). The species appears to be dependent on dense liana and vine tangles and thickets (M. Mills in litt. 2013, F. Olmos in litt. 2013). It feeds low down, almost to ground-level, on insects.

From the 1930s until the 1970s, an estimated 95% of forest on the escarpment was under coffee production (which leaves the canopy mostly intact) (Dean 2000). This has now been largely abandoned and subsistence agriculture is a threat (Dean 2000). At one locality in particular, Chongoroi, frequent fires from uncontrolled slash-and-burn agriculture threaten the species (Dean 2000). At Kumbira Forest, one of the most extensive areas of suitable habitat, there were at least seven pairs during surveys conducted during 2005; however, in a longer and more thorough study of the same area in 2010 no pairs were found (M. Mills in litt. 2013). This is thought to be a result of the clearance of dense undergrowth and vine tangles for subsistence agriculture, which is an increasingly prevalent driver of habitat conversion in the species's range (M. Mills in litt. 2013, F. Olmos in litt. 2013). Post-civil war development is becoming more rapid, including agricultural intensification and infrastructure development (M. Mills in litt. 2013), and it is said that the species's habitat is now being cleared very rapidly (M. Mills in litt. 2013, F. Olmos in litt. 2013).

Conservation Actions Underway
A protected area of c.20 km2 at Chongoroi was recommended in the early 1970s, but has not yet been established (Dean 2000). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct further surveys to better determine its status. Designate a protected area at Chongoroi.

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.

Dean, W. R. J. 2000. The birds of Angola. British Ornithologists' Union, Tring, UK.

Mills, M. S. L. 2010. Angola's central scarp forests: patterns of bird diversity and conservation threats. Biodiversity and Conservation 19(7): 1883-1903.

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
Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Cohen, C., Mills, M. & Spottiswoode, C.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Macrosphenus pulitzeri. Downloaded from on 01/07/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 01/07/2016.

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 - Pulitzer's longbill (Macrosphenus pulitzeri) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Sylviidae (Old World warblers)
Species name author Boulton, 1931
Population size 1000-2499 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 1,400 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species