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Bates's Weaver Ploceus batesi
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Justification
This species is certainly rare and has not been found during survey work in Cameroon over the past few years. However, the reasons for its rarity are unclear and there may be specific habitat requirements, as yet unknown, limiting its distribution. The population is likely to be small and probably declining, owing to habitat loss and/or alteration, and it is therefore classified as Endangered.

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.

Identification
12-14 cm. Small forest weaver. Male has bright chestnut head with contrasting black throat which extends in band to nape. Small yellow collar separates head from rich olive-green upperparts. Bright golden-yellow underparts except for black on throat. Female very similar but has black, not chestnut, on head and lacks black throat and nape configuration of male. Voice Undescribed.

Distribution and population
Ploceus batesi is a rarely-recorded species from southern and western Cameroon, occurring in a narrow belt from Limbe, at the foot of Mt Cameroon (Taylor 1981), east to Moloundou. In recent years, it has only been seen twice near the Dja Game Reserve (at Somalomo on the north-west boundary of the Reserve in 1995, and at Shwani, 12 km from Somalomo, in 1996) (R. Fotso in litt. 1999) and remains known from only a few localities, including Mt Kupe (two records in 1990, but none since, despite intensive searches). In 1998-2001, surveys in western and south-eastern Cameroon failed to relocate the species (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2007).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 250-999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 375-1,499 individuals in total, rounded here to 350-1,500 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline at an unquantified rate, owing to habitat loss or alteration, although it is not known what processes might be limiting the species's abundance or causing declines, and this requires detailed study.

Ecology
It occurs in lowland rainforest, although all recent records come from secondary forest and forest edge, particularly degraded forest around villages (R. Fotso in litt. 1999, F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 1999, 2000). It has been recorded on Mt Kupe up to 900 m. In 1979, a single bird was observed moving in a zig-zag manner up a creeper-covered tree-trunk (Taylor 1981), and it has been observed recently foraging under the canopy (R. Fotso in litt. 1999). It occurs singly and in pairs, and one record was in a mixed-species flock; it appears to forage on insects, bark-gleaning in the manner of Preuss's Weaver P. preussi, with which it could conceivably compete.

Threats
Since it is a bark-gleaning species it may be in competition with Preuss's Weaver P. preussi (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 1999, 2000). Despite the records from secondary habitat, its rarity may be attributable to the loss of some specific habitat feature. Plans for a 70,000 ha palm oil plantation threaten to significantly fragment large areas of suitable habitat in southwestern Cameroon if approved (Linder et al. 2012).

Conservation Actions Underway
The Dja Reserve, Douala-Edea Forest Reserve and Mt Kupe are all protected areas. Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct field surveys to locate and assess populations. Study ecology to determine limiting factors. Protect key areas identified from studies.

References
Collar, N. J.; Stuart, S. N. 1985. Threatened birds of Africa and related islands: the ICBP/IUCN Red Data Book. International Council for Bird Preservation, and International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, Cambridge, U.K.

Linder, J.M.; Laurence, W.F.; Struhsaker, T.T.; Ehrlich, P.R.; Raven, P.H.; Fredriksson, G.; Bradshaw, C.J.A.; Brook, B.W.; Koh, L.P; Waltert, M. 2012. An Open Letter about the Environmental and Social Impacts of a Massive Oil Palm Development in Cameroon.

Taylor, P. B. 1981. Bates's Weaver Ploceus batesi near Victoria, and other observations from western Cameroon. Malimbus 3(1): 49-50.

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., Ekstrom, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Contributors
Bowden, C., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Fotso, R., Whytock, R.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Ploceus batesi. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/08/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/08/2014.

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 Endangered
Family Ploceidae (Weavers and allies)
Species name author (Sharpe, 1908)
Population size 250-999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 53,500 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change