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Liben Lark Heteromirafra sidamoensis

IUCN Red List Criteria

Critically Endangered B1ab(ii,iii,v); C2a(ii) 
Endangered A3c+4c; B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v); C2a(i); D1 
Vulnerable B1ab(ii,iii,v)+2ab(ii,iii,v); C2a(i,ii); D 

IUCN Red List history

Year Category
2013 Critically Endangered
2012 Critically Endangered
2010 Critically Endangered
2009 Critically Endangered
2008 Endangered
2007 Endangered
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Endangered
1994 Endangered
1988 Threatened

Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type continent
Average mass -


  Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 52 good
Area of Occupancy breeding/resident (km2) 30 good
Number of locations 1 -
Fragmentation -

Population & trend

  Estimate Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 90-256 good Estimated 2008
Population trend Decreasing poor -
Number of subpopulations 1 - - -
Largest subpopulation 51-249 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 3.8 - - -
Population justification: The total range appears to be a single grassland patch just 30-36 km2 in area, and its population density is an order of magnitude lower than previously suspected, inferring a global population of 90-256 mature individuals, roughly equivalent to 130-390 individuals in total.
Trend justification: The population is suspected to be declining because the species is restricted to grassland in the calcareous plateau east and south of Negele (L. Borghesio in litt. 2005) which decreased in area by about 30% between 1973 and 2002, and is being rapidly encroached by shrubs, agriculture and homesteads. The remaining area is being rapidly degraded due to overgrazing by livestock. Over 15% of remaining habitat on the Liben plain was lost in a single year, suggesting that the rate of decline may now be higher (P. F. Donald in litt. 2012).

Country/Territory distribution

Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Breeding Non-breeding Passage Resident
Ethiopia Native Extant       Yes

Important Bird Areas where this species has triggered the IBA criteria

Country/Territory IBA Name IBA link
Ethiopia Liben plains and Negele woodlands site factsheet

Habitats & altitude

Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major resident
Savanna Dry major resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major resident
Altitude 1450 - 1450 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact

Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops / Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching / Nomadic grazing Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Rapid Declines Medium Impact: 7
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion, Reduced reproductive success, Species mortality
Climate change & severe weather Droughts Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 7
Ecosystem degradation, Species mortality
Human intrusions & disturbance War, civil unrest & military exercises Timing Scope Severity Impact
Past, Likely to Return Minority (<50%) No decline Past Impact
Species disturbance
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases / Whistling Thorn (Acacia drepanolobium) Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression / Supression in fire frequency/intensity Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Decline Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2015) Species factsheet: Heteromirafra sidamoensis. Downloaded from on 02/09/2015. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2015) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 02/09/2015.

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 Critically Endangered
Family Alaudidae (Larks)
Species name author Erard, 1975
Population size 90-256 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 52 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Summary information on this species