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Bush Blackcap Lioptilus nigricapillus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

IUCN Red List Criteria

Near Threatened (criteria nearly met) C1+2a(i) 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2012 Near Threatened
2008 Near Threatened
2004 Near Threatened
2000 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1994 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1988 Lower Risk/Least Concern

Species attributes

Migratory status altitudinal migrant Forest dependency Medium
Land mass type continent
Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 171,000 medium
Number of locations -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1000-3300 medium Estimated 2000
Population trend Decreasing -
Number of subpopulations - - -
Largest subpopulation - - -
Generation length (yrs) 4.8 - - -
Population justification: The South African population has been estimated at 1,500-5,000 individuals and Swaziland is thought to hold a resident breeding population of 40 individuals. The range of 1,500-5,000 individuals roughly equates to 1,000-3,300 mature individuals.
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction and fragmentation.

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
South Africa Native Extant       Yes
Swaziland Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
South Africa Amatole Forest Complex site factsheet
South Africa Blyde River Canyon site factsheet
South Africa Dhlinza Forest Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa Entumeni Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa Golden Gate Highlands National Park site factsheet
South Africa Grasslands site factsheet
South Africa Greater Ngwangwana River site factsheet
South Africa Impendle Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa Kaapsehoop site factsheet
South Africa Karkloof Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa Katberg - Readsdale forest complex site factsheet
South Africa KwaZulu-Natal Mistbelt Forests site factsheet
South Africa Mac-Mac Escarpment and Forests site factsheet
South Africa Songimvelo Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa Sterkfontein Dam Nature Reserve site factsheet
South Africa UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park site factsheet
South Africa Wolkberg Forest Belt site factsheet
Swaziland Malolotja Nature Reserve site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane major resident
Forest Temperate major resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude suitable resident
Shrubland Temperate suitable resident
Altitude 750 - 1825 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Wood & pulp plantations / Agro-industry plantations Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 6
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Lioptilus nigricapillus. 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 Timaliidae (Babblers and parrotbills)
Species name author (Vieillot, 1818)
Population size 1000-3300 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 171,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change