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Salvadori's Serin Serinus xantholaemus
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species is listed as Vulnerable because it is believed to have a small population which is declining owing to habitat alteration, mainly through agriculture, as a result of human population growth within its range.

Taxonomic source(s)
Dowsett, R. J.; Forbes-Watson, A. D. 1993. Checklist of birds of the Afrotropical and Malagasy regions. Tauraco Press, Li

Taxonomic note
Serinus xanthopygius (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into S. xanthopygius and S. xantholaemus following Dowsett and Forbes-Watson (1993).

Serinus xantholaema Collar and Andrew (1988), Serinus xantholaema Collar et al. (1994), Serinus xantholaema BirdLife International (2000)

11 cm. Small, greyish canary with black collar. This uniformly drab, greyish brown canary has a bright yellow throat with a thin black breast band which is diagnostic. In flight shows a greenish yellow rump. Very often the black band is very much reduced and only shows a black spot on sides of breast. Similar spp. Yellow-throated Serin is almost identical to the female of this species and away from known range when seen alone, identification problems will arise. Voice Similar to Yellow-throated Serin. Hints The best known site is alongside the stream that runs from The Sofamor Caves, Ethiopa. Also in dry scrub adjacent to juniper forests near Arero, Ethiopia.

Distribution and population
Serinus xantholaemus is known from central Harar, northern Bale and central Sidamo provinces (central Borena zone), Ethiopia. There have been at least 30 reliable records since 1900 (J. S. Ash in litt. 1999), among which post-1970 records have come from Sheik Hussein, Sof Omar, Arero Forest, Anferara Forest and Mankubsa-Weleno Forest, Yavello Wildlife Sanctuary (EWNHS 1996, J. Vivero in litt. 2003, Shimelis undated). Although uncommon at presently known sites, it may prove to be fairly widespread and not uncommon in a huge area that is very poorly known in ornithological terms (J. S. Ash in litt. 1999, J. Vivero in litt. 2003).

Population justification
The population is placed in the range bracket for 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on information from J. Vivero (in litt. 2003). This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The species's population is suspected to be in decline owing to habitat destruction and degradation, despite the species's apparent tolerance of disturbance by humans and cattle (J. Vivero in litt. 2003), which requires further research. The likely rate of decline has not been quantified.

The species seems to favour scrubby vegetation (1,000-1,500 m), and has been recorded in Acacia-Commiphora woodland (EWNHS 1996) and juniper Juniperus woodland (including scrubby and degraded areas) (Shimelis undated).

At nearly all sites, an increasing human population is leading to the expansion of subsistence agriculture into previously uncultivated wooded habitats (EWNHS 1996, Shimelis undated). Cutting of trees and bushes (for fuel and building wood) and intense grazing also occur at a number of sites (Shimelis undated). However, it is open to question to what extent disturbance as a result of high cattle and human pressure may affect the species, considering its relative tolerance to them (J. Vivero in litt. 2003). While the species's tolerance of such habitat changes is unknown, its population may well be declining. At Anferera, opencast gold-mining is a potential threat (EWNHS 1996), as is hotel construction at Sof Omar and Sheik Hussein (related to popular shrines there) (J. S. Ash in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Underway
Arero Forest, Anferara Forest and Mankubsa-Weleno Forest are protected areas on paper. However, on-the-ground protection is scant (EWNHS 1996). Conservation Actions Proposed
Continue surveys to better determine the species's range, population size and trend. Assess possible threats. Determine the species ecological requirements. Investigate the potential for a programme promoting community forestry, soil conservation and watershed management within its range. Assess the potential impacts of habitat alteration and disturbance by cattle and humans and the species's ability to tolerate such processes.

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.

EWNHS. 1996. Important Bird Areas of Ethiopia: a first inventory. Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society, Addis Ababa.

Shimelis, A. in press. Salvadori's Serin Serinus xantholaema: recent observations on its distribution, habitat requirements and behaviour. Scopus.

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
Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Ash, J., Vivero, J.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Serinus xantholaemus. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016.

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 - Salvadori’s seedeater (Serinus xantholaemus) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Fringillidae (Finches and Hawaiian honeycreepers)
Species name author Salvadori, 1896
Population size 2500-9999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 280 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species
- Projected distributions under climate change