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Southern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus xanthopterus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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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)
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
This species is endemic to south and east Africa, where it occurs in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as uncommon in much of its range (Fry and Keith 2004).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to disturbance of its wetland habitat in south Mozambique and Botswana (Fry and Keith 2004). There have been no recent records from some areas where it was previously recorded, however there do not appear to have been significant declines in least Malawi or Zambia ( F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. Dowsett in litt. 2005, P. Leonard in litt. 2005, S. K. K. Olofson in litt. 2005).

This is a social species which breeds in papyrus, reedbeds and shrubbery overhanging water, at around 1,750 m elevation (van Perlo 1995). Colonies of up to 300 nests have been found in areas of suitable habitat.

Disturbance of its wetland habitat threatens the species in south Mozambique and Botswana (Fry and Keith 2004).

Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 2004. The birds of Africa vol. VII. Christopher Helm, London.

van Perlo, B. 1995. Birds of eastern Africa. Harper Collins, 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
Pilgrim, J., Ekstrom, J., Butchart, S., Harding, M.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Ploceus xanthopterus. 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 Ploceidae (Weavers and allies)
Species name author (Finsch & Hartlaub, 1870)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 303,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change