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Kretschmer's Longbill Macrosphenus kretschmeri
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This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

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
This species is known from south-east Kenya (one record from Kitovu Forest, possibly a vagrant), east Tanzania, from Mt Kilimanjaro, Moshi and the Usambaras south to the Ngurus, Ulugurus and Udzungwas (Mwanihana and Magombera forests), on the coast in Kiono, Pugu, Kazimzumbwe and Kiwengoma forests and in the south-east at Mikindani, and from north Mozambique at Netia (Urban et al. 1997).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as common on Netia, Mozambique; otherwise uncommon to locally common (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

The species inhabits lowland and intermediate forest up to 1,800 m, where it is found in dense, tangled cover from undergrowth to mid-stratum under tall trees in the forest interior, and also in forest edge and coastal thickets. It occurs singly, in pairs, or in parties of 5-6, also joining mixed species parties with bulbuls, flycatchers, puffbacks and drongos foraging for insects in the leaf litter. It is extremely elusive and hard to see although it sings continuously. Its breeding ecology is unknown, although birds in breeding condition have been found in Tanzania in February and April (Urban et al. 1997).

Forest destruction is prevalent in parts of the species's range. In the Usambaras the large human population is putting increasing pressure on land and the forests are highly fragmented (Stattersfield et al. 1998). In the Ulugurus the main montane forest block has been protected by its extremely inaccessible terrain, but forest here only covers c.120 km² and the lower slopes are being steadily cleared, again as a result of an increasing human population (Stattersfield et al. 1998).

Conservation Actions Underway
Mwanihana forest falls within the Udzungwa Mountains National Park. Two current projects aimed at reconciling conservation and development in the East Usambaras are working to increase the amount of forest, including all lowland remnants, in protected areas. The forests at Uluguru are included in catchment forest reserves (Stattersfield et al. 1998).

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.

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.

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
Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Macrosphenus kretschmeri. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

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 Least Concern
Family Sylviidae (Old World warblers)
Species name author (Reichenow & Neumann, 1895)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 120,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change