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Nechisar Nightjar Caprimulgus solala

Justification
This species is definitely known from only a single (incomplete) specimen from one location. It is reasonable to assume that it is endemic to the Nechisar Plains, and hence is treated as Vulnerable owing to this small range and the potential threat to the habitat from over-exploitation by local people. However, it remains extremely poorly known and further information is needed to validate this evaluation.

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.

Identification
Only known from one specimen (of which only one wing was collected), therefore overall appearance uncertain, but likely to look dark, relatively unmarked and similar to female Pennant-winged Nightjar Macrodipteryx vexillarius. The specimen had white tips to at least the outer two tail feathers, a rounded wing, with the wing-coverts marked with large buff spots, and a broad buffish-white band, almost midway along the outerwing, across the four outer primaries (and on the inner web only of the outermost primary). The key point is that the patch lies exceptionally far up the wing (i.e. towards the carpal joint), especially relative to the (strong and easily seen) emargination in the outer primaries (especially P9, the last-but-one). The voice is unknown.

Distribution and population
Caprimulgus solala is known from a single wing salvaged from a road corpse on the Nechisar Plains, southern Ethiopia, in 1990 (Safford et al. 1995). The status of the taxon is unknown, but it is unlikely to be widespread or common (Safford et al. 1995). It is precautionarily assumed to be restricted to the Nechisar Plains, an isolated area of probably remnant habitat with the potential for local endemism (S. Butchart in litt. 2005). Several individuals of a large, reddish-brown nightjar with white tail corners and prominent white wing panels were reported from the Nechisar Plains over three nights in April 2009 (Anon 2009), but full details have yet to be published.


Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified; it is considered unlikely to be widespread or common.

Trend justification
The current population trend is unknown as the species is only known from a single wing.

Ecology
The dead individual was found by the side of a dirt road in a completely treeless area of the Plains, which are a gently undulating 270-km2 area of natural (edaphic) short grassland on black-lava soil at 1,200 m on the Rift Valley floor (Safford et al. 1995). The Plains are isolated by bushland from any similar short-grass habitat (Safford et al. 1995).

Threats
Heavy resource-use is threatening the future of Nechisar National Park, including excessive grazing by domestic livestock, rapid clearance of trees for fuel and construction material for the expanding town of Arba Minch nearby, and illegal fishing (EWNHS 1996). Such resource use is being reduced in the park (www.africanparks-conservation.com). In 1998, a fire started by illegal settlers within the National Park caused considerable damage to an area of c.12 km2 (A. Shimelis in litt. 1998).

Conservation Actions Underway
The Plains lie entirely within Nechisar National Park (Safford et al. 1995) which, although still awaiting gazettement, has been operational since the early 1980s and, up until 1991, was one of the best protected areas in the country, with minimal human use of resources (EWNHS 1996). However, the situation has changed since then (EWNHS 1996). The Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Organization had a programme to rehabilitate the National Parks of southern Ethiopia, including the resettlement elsewhere of illegal settlers, but this is no longer operational (A. Shimelis in litt. 1998). The management of the park was formerly handed over to the African Parks Foundation on 1 February 2005 (www.africanparks-conservation.com). As of June 2007, negotiations with adjacent communities for the gazettement of the park were still ongoing (www.africanparks-conservation.com). Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct targeted searches for the species, ideally with aim of capturing an individual (Butchart 2007). Carry out surveys to clarify the species's range and population size (A. Shimelis in litt. 1998). Study the species's ecological requirements (A. Shimelis in litt. 1998). Evaluate the status of the taxon using DNA techniques (Forero and Tella 1997). Gazette Nechisar National Park (A. Shimelis in litt. 1998). More directly involve Arba Minch town council and its two educational institutions in Park activities (EWNHS 1996).

References
Anon. 2009. Rarest bird on Earth - spotted at last! Africa - Birds & Birding 14(4): 58.

Butchart, S. H. M. 2007. Nechisar Nightjar Caprimulgus solala. Bulletin of the African Bird Club 14(2): 142.

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

Forero, M. G.; Tella, J. L. 1997. Sexual dimorphism, plumage variability and species determination in nightjars: the need for further examination of the Nechisar Nightjar Caprimulgus solala. Ibis 139: 407-409.

Safford, R. J.; Ash, J. S.; Duckworth, J. W.; Telfer, M. G.; Zewdie, C. 1995. A new species of nightjar from Ethiopia. Ibis 137: 301-307.

University of Oxford Department of International Development. 2011. National Parks: The Omo and Mago National Parks – an unresolved problem. Mursi Online..

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., Shutes, S., Starkey, M., Symes, A., Taylor, J.

Contributors
Butchart, S., Safford, R., Shimelis, A.

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

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2014) Species factsheet: Caprimulgus solala. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/12/2014. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2014) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/12/2014.

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 Vulnerable
Family Caprimulgidae (Nightjars)
Species name author Safford, Ash, Duckworth, Telfer & Zewdie, 1995
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Unknown
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 200 km2
Country endemic? Yes
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species