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Kenya Rufous-sparrow Passer rufocinctus
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This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Taxonomic source(s)
Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1990. Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

Taxonomic note
Passer motitensis (Dowsett and Forbes-Watson 1993) has been split into six species: P. motitensis, P. rufocinctus, and P. insularis following Sibley & Monroe (1990, 1993), Urban (2004) and Kirwan (2008), and P. shelleyi, P. cordofanicus and P. hemileucus following Urban (2004) and Kirwan (2008). Examination of the species complex by the BirdLife Taxonomic Working Group noted appreciable morphological differences between these taxa.

Distribution and population
Passer rufocinctus is a resident breeder of the Rift Valley highlands from central Kenya to northern Tanzania (del Hoyo et al. 2009).

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as common throughout its range (del Hoyo et al. 2009).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Behaviour Breeding occurs in all months, but mainly between April and June, and November and December (coninciding with the rains). The nest is bulit by both sexes, and the female lays a clutch of 3-5 eggs. Habitat Occupies dry Acacia savanna, open wooded country, cultivated land, villages and towns, at 1000-3000 m. It usually forages in pairs, but sometimes in small groups of up to about ten individuals outside the breeding season. Diet Its diet includes grain, small seeds and domestic scraps. Insects are fed to unfledged young (del Hoyo et al. 2009).

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. 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
Calvert, R.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Passer rufocinctus. 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 Least Concern
Family Passeridae (Sparrows, snowfinches and allies)
Species name author Finsch & Reichenow, 1884
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 90,100 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species