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Yemen Accentor Prunella fagani
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species is considered Near Threatened because although it is currently stable, it has a moderately small population and a small range. Any evidence of a decline may result in it being uplisted to Vulnerable.

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.

15 cm. A small grey-brown bird with conspicuous whitish supercilium. The upperparts of both sexes are streaked darker and the underparts warm buff with fine dark streaks below whitish throat and on flanks. Rather shy and largely ground-dwelling where it moves with the typical jerky movements of the accentors.Similar spp. Distinguished from Radde's Accentor Prunella ocularis with difficulty, although generally Prunella fagani exhibits warmer upperparts and has a more distinct malar-stripe with heavier streaking on throat, breast and flanks. Although these differences are not always consistent, they can mostly be distinguished by location. Voice Scratchy, musical song of 6-9 short, fast notes, most often delivered from a rock or bush top. Hints A resident of only the highest mountains in Yemen. It can occur near human activities and the best views can be obtained by a garage on the Sumarah Pass.

Distribution and population
Prunella fagani is endemic to the high-altitude western mountains of Yemen, where it is very local, being known from only six localities (1,850-3,000 m) during the breeding season: Kawkaban; Manakhah; head of Wadi Bana; Sumara pass; near Ibb; and Jabal Sabir (Redman 1987). Its small breeding range lies in a high-rainfall zone that has been densely settled and heavily cultivated for millennia. A few winter records from slightly south of its breeding range (Martins et al. 1996) suggest that some birds may move to lower altitudes in winter (Redman 1987). It occurs at fairly low density at its known localities (Redman 1987), being relatively common at only one of them.

Population justification
The population is placed in the band 2,500-9,999 individuals, equating to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
There are no new data on population trends; however, the species has co-existed with the low intensity farming of the region for millennia and the population is therefore likely to still be stable.

Its habitat is open, stony slopes with a relatively dense cover of short perennial grasses and dwarf-shrubs (e.g. Rumex, Acanthus), frequently associated with near-vertical rocky features such as scree, cliff-faces and field terrace-walls (Redman 1987, Porter et al. 1996).

There is no evidence for a decline, nor is one suspected currently. Major reduction of the vegetation cover at its known sites, e.g. by extreme overgrazing or over-collection of dwarf-shrubs for fuel, would threaten the species, as might climate change (e.g. aridification), but there is no evidence for these potential threats in the near future.

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known. Conservation Actions Proposed
Monitor the population at known sites to detect trends. Survey to locate addtional populations. As a precaution, effectively protect significant areas of suitable habitat at key sites, in multiple use areas.

Martins, R. P.; Bradshaw, C. G.; Brown, A.; Kirwan, G. M.; Porter, R. F. 1996. The status of passerines in southern Yemen and the records of the OSME survey in spring 1993. Sandgrouse 17: 54-72.

Porter, R.F., Christensen, S. and Schiermacker-Hansen, P. 1996. Poyser, London, UK.

Redman, N. J. 1987. The Arabian Accentor Prunella fagani in North Yemen. Sandgrouse: 78-81.

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
Mahood, S., Martins, R. & O'Brien, A.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Prunella fagani. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016.

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 Prunellidae (Accentors)
Species name author (Ogilvie-Grant, 1913)
Population size 1500-7000 mature individuals
Population trend Stable
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 17,500 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species