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Sclater's Lark Spizocorys sclateri
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is thought to have a moderately small population. Any evidence that suggests the population is smaller, or in decline, may qualify the species for a higher threat category.

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
Most records of Spizocorys sclateri come from the Nama Karoo in central and north-western Cape Province, South Africa, with relatively few records from southern Namibia. Within this range, it is uncommon and local, and appears nomadic at the edge of its range, moving in response to rainfall patterns. There is no actual evidence of range contraction or population decline. However, populations are severely fragmented.

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as scarce and local.

Trend justification
The trend direction for the population is difficult to determine as there are potentially both positive and negative processes acting on the species (del Hoyo et al. 2004).

It inhabits arid and semi-arid gravel and stony plains with scattered shrubs and grasses on shale soils, and sparse dwarf-shrublands on clays, but is usually found within accessible distance of surface water. It generally seems to be a highly predictable breeder, nesting in the same patch and at the same time each year, irrespective of rainfall. It feeds on insects and seeds (del Hoyo et al. 2004). Breeding takes place primarily in August-December, sometimes from June. The species is monogamous and lays one egg. The incubation period is 11-13 days, and the fledging period is 10-12 days, occasionally 14 days (del Hoyo et al. 2004).

The effects of the increased use of its habitat by livestock are unknown; the species may benefit from the presence of stock water-points, but grazing may have a deleterious impact.

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation action is known for this species. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain a total population estimate. Study the species's status in Namibia. Monitor population and range trends through regular surveys. Study the impact of livestock farming on the species. Effectively protect significant areas of suitable habitat in both strictly protected areas and multiple use areas.

Barnes, K. N. 2000. The Eskom Red Data Book of birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2004. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 9: Cotingas to Pipits and Wagtails. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

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
O'Brien, A., Pilgrim, J., Robertson, P., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Spizocorys sclateri. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016.

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 Alaudidae (Larks)
Species name author (Shelley, 1902)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 226,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change