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Obbia Lark Spizocorys obbiensis
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

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.

12cm, 12-16g. Small lark with a stout bill, crouches to feed in vegetated coastal dune habitat. Prominent supercilium, dark eye-stripe, moustacial and malar stripes. Whitish below, with regular blackish streaks along flanks and on breast. Similar spp. Flappet Lark Mirafra cinnamomea is buffy below, Singing Bushlark Mirafra cantillans has rufous wing panel and longer tail, also dark on bill. Voice flight call "tip-tip".

Distribution and population
Spizocorys obbiensis is restricted to a narrow coastal strip in south-eastern Somalia, where it is known to occur along c.570 km of coast, from Halhambe to 47 km south of Jiriiban (Ash and Miskell 1998). It is restricted to a strip only about 1 km wide in the south, but occurs up to 40 km inland in the north (Ash and Miskell 1998). The most recent sighting was in April 2006, when several pairs were seen in Ceel Dheer and Mareeg (J. Miskell in litt. 2006). The species has been reported as abundant, being found in pairs, small parties and occasionally flocks of up to 30 individuals (Keith et al. 1992). However, there have been no recent surveys and therefore its status is uncertain.

Population justification
This is a poorly known species and no population estimates are available.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to potential habitat degradation (del Hoyo et al. 2004).

It is found in large, fixed and vegetated dunes. Breeding has been recorded in May, June and November, with a clutch size of 2-3 (Ash and Miskell 1998).

Although this species can survive in heavily grazed habitat (Keith et al. 1992), it is possible that further intensification of grazing and increased demand for fuelwood, particularly in areas close to Mogadishu will lead to the destabilisation of dunes and consequently the destruction of the species's habitat (Hutchinson 1991, Robertson in prep.).

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out population census of sand dune habitat within its known range. Study its ecological requirements, threats and population trends.

Ash, J. S.; Miskell, J. E. 1998. Birds of Somalia. Pica Press, Robertsbridge, U.K.

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.

Hutchinson, R. A. 1991. Fighting for survival: insecurity, people and the environment in the Horn of Africa. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Gland, Switzerland.

Keith, S.; Urban, E. K.; Fry, C. H. 1992. The birds of Africa vol. IV. 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
Bird, J., Butchart, S., Martin, R, Robertson, P., Symes, A.

Miskell, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Spizocorys obbiensis. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016.

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 Data Deficient
Family Alaudidae (Larks)
Species name author Witherby, 1905
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 55,200 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change