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White-chested Tinkerbird Pogoniulus makawai
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Taxonomic note
Pogoniulus bilineatus (Sibley and Monroe 1990, 1993) has been split into P. bilineatus and P. makawai following Benson and Irwin (1965), a decision confirmed by Collar and Fishpool (2006).

11 cm. Tiny, thick-billed barbet. Black head with white moustachial strip and white breast are diagnostic. Similar spp. Differs from Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird by lacking white stripe above eye and having a white, not grey breast. Has been considered possibly an aberrant form of Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird. Voice Unknown. Hints Known only from one specimen taken at Mayau, Zambia.

Distribution and population
Pogoniulus makawai is judged to be a rare, relict species which remains known only from the type-specimen, collected in 1964 at Mayau in north-western Zambia (Benson and Irwin 1965), despite repeated attempts to relocate the taxon (Dowsett and Dowsett-Lemaire 1993). Another possibility is that the type specimen was collected in riverine forest along the Mayau River, in which case the species may occupy a more restricted habitat (Collar and Fishpool 2006). Alternatively the type specimen was a straggler from somewhat different habitats in adjacent Angola (Collar and Fishpool 2006). The congener Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird Pognolius bilineatus occurs at the type locality of makawai on the limit of its range. Therefore, it is possible that makawai replaces it to the west in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Collar and Fishpool 2006). Although it has been treated as an aberrant P. bilineatus by many authorities, the case for its validity as a distinct species has recently been argued again (Collar and Fishpool 2006). There is a need for intensive surveys in the area of the type-locality, and further north and west, covering any slight variations in the structure of Cryptosepalum forest caused by water or topographical features, and paying special attention to mistletoes.

Population justification
This species is only known from its type specimen and as such no population estimates are available.

Trend justification
Data on overall population size and trends is lacking.

It would seem to favour dense, evergreen Cryptosepalum thicket, dominated by C. pseudotaxus, and there are large areas of apparently suitable habitat in the relevant area of north-west Zambia and adjacent Angola. The voluminous bill of makawai suggests it may specialise on the berries of mistletoe as other tinkerbirds have been found to (Collar and Fishpool 2006).

The Cryptosepalum thickets are sparsely populated by people outside the West Lunga National Park and are difficult to clear for agriculture, so its habitat would appear not to be threatened, although fire is a potential risk as it has affected nearby areas.

Conservation Actions Underway
The most extensive areas of suitable habitat occur within Lukwakwa Game Management Area. Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out intensive surveys in the area of the type-locality, and further north and west, covering any slight variations in the structure of Cryptosepalum forest caused by water or topographical features, and paying special attention to mistletoes. Clarify taxonomic status.

Benson, C. W.; Irwin, M. P. S. 1965. A new species of tinker-barbet from northern Rhodesia. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 85: 5-9.

Collar, N.J. and Fishpool, L.D.C. 2006. What is Pogoniulus makawai? Bulletin of the African Bird Club 13(1): 18-27.

Dowsett, R. J.; Dowsett-Lemaire, F. 1993. Comments on the taxonomy of some Afrotropical bird species. In: Dowsett, R.J.; Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (ed.), A contribution to the distribution and taxonomy of Afrotropical and Malagasy birds, pp. 323-389. Tauraco Press, Liège, Belgium.

Sibley, C. G.; Monroe, B. L. 1993. A supplement to 'Distribution and taxonomy of birds of the world'. Yale University Press, New Haven, USA.

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
Starkey, M., Shutes, S., Butchart, S., Bird, J., Symes, A.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Pogoniulus makawai. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016.

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 Data Deficient
Family Lybiidae (African barbets)
Species name author Benson & Irwin, 1965
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 4,100 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species