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Red-faced Barbet Lybius rubrifacies
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is thought to have a moderately small population which is suspected to have undergone a decline in the 1990s at least. If the population is found to be smaller, or declining faster, it may qualify for uplisting to a higher threat category.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Distribution and population
Lybius rubrifacies is restricted to eastern Rwanda and Burundi, and north-west Tanzania, with a single locality (Lake Mburo National Park) in south-west Uganda (N. Baker in litt. 1999). Although the species is locally common in Rwanda (N. Baker in litt. 1999), it has a restricted distribution and is presumed to have suffered a population decline since the mid-1990s (Kanyamibwa 2001, Short et al. 1990).

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

Trend justification
The populations is suspected to have been declining since the mid 1990s owing to ongoing habitat destruction (Kanyamibwa 2001, Short et al. 1990).

It occurs in hilly areas of Combretum-wooded grassland, mixed woodland of Albizia-Acacia-Commiphora (including riverine woods) and also cultivated areas with scattered trees (Fry et al. 1988), generally at altitudes of 1,200-1,500 m (N. Baker in litt. 1999). It occurs in pairs and groups of up to five or more, feeding on figs, berries and seeds as well as insects (N. Baker in litt. 1999). Breeding is thought to take place in February-March and October (del Hoyo et al. 2002).

A population decline is suspected since the mid-1990s as a result of habitat loss after the degazettement of about two-thirds of Akagera National Park (from 2,850 km2 to 1,000 km2; Kanyamibwa 2001, Short et al. 1990), due to the arrival of settlers displaced by civil war (del Hoyo et al. 2002). In Tanzania, habitat for this species is not currently under threat, but it occurs at very low densities, due to unknown limiting factors (J. P. Vandeweghe pers comm.).

Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in Lake Mburo National Park (Uganda), Akagera National Park (Rwanda) and Ruvuvu National Park (Burundi) (del Hoyo et al. 2002). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain a total population estimate. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Investigate factors that are potentially responsible for the species's low densities in Tanzania (J. P. Vandeweghe pers comm.). Increase the area of suitable habitat within protected areas.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 2002. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 7: Jacamars to Woodpeckers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Fry, C. H.; Keith, S.; Urban, E. K. 1988. The birds of Africa vol III. Academic Press, London.

Kanyamibwa, S. 2001. Rwanda. In: Fishpool, L.D.C.; Evans, M.I. (ed.), Important Bird Areas in Africa and associated islands: Priority sites for conservation, pp. 703-710. Pisces Publications and BirdLife International (BirdLife Conservation Series No.11), Newbury and Cambridge, UK.

Short, L. L.; Horne, J.; Muringo-Gichuki, C. 1990. Annotated checklist of the birds of east Africa. Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, Los Angeles, California.

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
Evans, M., O'Brien, A., Robertson, P., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Baker, N., Collar, N., Vande Weghe, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Lybius rubrifacies. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Red-faced barbet (Lybius rubrifacies) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Lybiidae (African barbets)
Species name author (Reichenow, 1892)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 34,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change