email a friend
printable version
Clarke's Weaver Ploceus golandi
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information
BirdLife Species Champion Become a BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme Supporter
For information about BirdLife Species Champions and Species Guardians visit the BirdLife Preventing Extinctions Programme.

This species has a small and fragmented range, within which its woodland habitat is being cleared for cultivation and being altered by selective tree-cutting, such that its very small population is presumed to be declining (Collar and Stuart 1985). It is therefore listed 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.

13-14 cm. Small, woodland weaver. Male black above with black head and breast. Canary-yellow underparts fade to white on belly, with yellow-and-white vent. Female olive above, with yellow underparts. Both sexes have golden-yellow edgings to wing-covert feathers. Similar spp. Forest Weaver P. bicolor lacks yellow on wing-coverts. Voice Typical weaver-like squizzlings and chirpings. Hints Most frequently seen in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest (Kenya), from August to March.

Distribution and population
Ploceus golandi is known only from southeastern Kenya. Most records are from the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest (350 km2 occupied by this species [Bennun and Njoroge 1999]), but it is also recorded from the Dakatcha area near Malindi to the north of the Sabaki river (300 km2  [Bennun and Njoroge 1999]), and from the eastern edge of Galana Ranch east to Marafa and Hadu (Zimmerman et al. 1996). The population was estimated to be not more than 1,000-2,000 pairs in the early 1980s and there has not been a more recent assessment. The species may not breed in Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, since it appears to be largely absent during April-July, reappearing with young in August and thence regularly seen into November, with few records from December-February (Zimmerman et al. 1996). It is believed to have bred north of the Sabaki river in 1994, when many juveniles were observed near Dakatcha in mid-July (Zimmerman et al. 1996).

Population justification
The population was estimated to be not more than 1,000-2,000 pairs (2,000-4,000 mature individuals) in the early 1980s, and there has not been a more recent assessment. This estimate is roughly equivalent to 3,000-6,000 individuals in total.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be declining at a moderate rate in line with the clearance and degradation of its forest habitat.

Outside the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, the species is confined to lowland Brachystegia woodland (Zimmerman et al. 1996). Within the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest, it has been recorded from all forest habitats, although it is commonest in Brachystegia woodland. Occurs in noisy but somewhat erratic flocks of 5-30 birds and also sometimes observed in mixed species flocks (Fry and Keith 2004). It feeds high up in the canopy on beetles and caterpillars. It presumably nests at low densities in the tops of tall trees, probably in March, with the onset of the rains (Zimmerman et al. 1996).

Clearance of woodland for agriculture is the main threat to the species, e.g. at Dakatcha where hilltops are being extensively cleared for cultivating pineapples, and where woodland is also being damaged by cutting of Brachylaena trees (in great demand for fuelwood and carving-timber) (Bennun and Njoroge 1999). Forest at Arabuko-Sokoke continues to be degraded by both illegal logging and licensed wood removal. There is also some political pressure for degazettement of the Kararacha-Mpendakula section of this forest (Waiyaki and Bennun 1999).

Conservation Actions Underway
Arabuko-Sokoke Forest is the focus of a project to promote long-term conservation of the forest through sustainable management and community participation in forest conservation (Fanshawe 1997).Conservation Actions Proposed
Gazette Dakatcha Forest as a forest reserve or area with similar protected status (Bennun and Njoroge 1999). Enforce legislation controlling forest-use in Arabuko-Sokoke. Better define its habitat and breeding requirements, in particular its tolerance of forest degradation. Census and monitor its population size. Improve knowledge of its distribution. Continue efforts to conserve Arabuko-Sokoke Forest.

Bennun, L.; Njoroge, P. 1999. Important Bird Areas in Kenya. Nature Kenya, Nairobi.

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.

Fanshawe, J. 1997. Second Annual Report of the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Management and Conservation Project to the European Commission.

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

Waiyaki, E. M.; Bennun, L. A. 1999. The avifauna of coastal forests in southern Kenya: status and conservation. Ostrich 71: 247-256.

Zimmerman, D. A.; Turner, D. A.; Pearson, D. J. 1996. Birds of Kenya and northern Tanzania. 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., Evans, M., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Ploceus golandi. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016.

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.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Clarke's weaver (Ploceus golandi) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Endangered
Family Ploceidae (Weavers and allies)
Species name author (Clarke, 1913)
Population size 2000-4000 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 640 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species