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Fox's Weaver Ploceus spekeoides

Justification
This species is very poorly known and has only been recorded from one area. It is assumed to have a moderately small population which may be declining. It is possibly threatened by drainage and cattle grazing in its small range. It is therefore classified as Near Threatened.

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
Ploceus spekeoides is a poorly recorded species known from a restricted area of seasonally flooded wetlands in northern Uganda (Collar and Stuart 1985, Byaruhanga et al. 2001, A. Byaruhanga in litt. 2003). The species has been recorded at two Important Bird Areas, Lake Bisina (250 km2) and Lake Opeta (570 km2), and is found in the marshland habitat stretching between these lakes. There are also records from Rhino Camp in Arua and from the environs of Lake Kyoga near Nakasongola. In August 1996, 47 nests of this species were counted around Lake Bisina, since when it has not been recorded breeding (Byaruhanga et al. 2001).

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 ongoing habitat destruction.

Ecology
This species's ecology and breeding habits are largely unknown. It has been described as locally common in bushed and wooded grassland in swampy areas (Collar and Stuart 1985). It consumes seeds and probably insects (Fry and Keith 2004). In Uganda, it breeds in June-July. It is a colonial breeder, and constructs an oval nest, consisting of roughly woven grasses (Fry and Keith 2004).

Threats
Some wetland areas have been drained in its range, including those around Nariam, where the type-specimen was collected (Byaruhanga et al. 2001). Over 20,000 head of cattle move to the Opeta region each dry season (October-February), a factor degrading wooded grasslands upon which the species is dependent for breeding (Byaruhanga et al. 2001, A. Byaruhanga in litt. 2003). The importance of such degradation as a threatening process is unclear. Lake Bisina is poorly known, does not fall within the Karamoja protected-area complex and there are no conservation measures proposed or enacted for the site (Byaruhanga et al. 2001).

Conservation Actions Underway
Lake Opeta borders Pian-Upe Wildlife Reserve, set up in consideration of traditional cattle-grazing practices in the area (Byaruhanga et al. 2001). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to assess the species's total population size. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor the extent of wetland drainage and habitat degradation. Study the impact of potential threats. Carry out detailed research into the species's ecology. Increase the area of suitable habitat in protected areas.

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.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. 2010. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 15: Weavers to New World Warblers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Fry, C. H.; Keith, S. 2004. The birds of Africa vol. VII. Christopher Helm, 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
Ekstrom, J., Robertson, P., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Contributors
Byaruhanga, A.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Ploceus spekeoides. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/10/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/10/2014.

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 Near Threatened
Family Ploceidae (Weavers and allies)
Species name author Grant & Mackworth-Praed, 1947
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 68,500 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change