Rosy Bee-eater (Merops malimbicus): request for information

This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.

The following topic is adapted from a draft put forward by Hugo Rainey.

Rosy Bee-eater Merops malimbicus (BirdLife species factsheet) breeds in West and West-Central Africa, occurring in a relatively small number of colonies in coastal areas and in sand bars on major rivers. Recent work by H. Rainey has resulted in the compilation of a draft list of breeding sites in Nigeria, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola, but recent data on the size and location of colonies are very limited, particularly in Nigeria and DRC (H. Rainey in litt. 2013). The lack of data has been highlighted previously (del Hoyo et al. 2001), but the situation appears not to have changed since then (H. Rainey in litt. 2013). Some large colonies identified in the early to mid-20th century in Nigeria have apparently not been surveyed for decades. Brief reports of colonies in DRC also suggest that there are further undescribed colonies along the Congo and Oubangui rivers (H. Rainey in litt. 2013).

There are currently insufficient data to assess the total size of the population or overall trends in the population, although there are indications that colonies are particularly susceptible to hunting. The Congo River Martin Pseudochelidon eurystomina (Data Deficient) makes use of old Rosy Bee-eater breeding colonies, thus understanding the status of the bee-eater may also be important for this species.

Information on Rosy Bee-eater breeding colonies is sought from across the species’s range to improve our knowledge of its status. The following data would be particularly useful:

-          Location coordinates

-          Site name

-          Date of observation

-          Number of nesting holes

-          Number of adults

The AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute is keen to survey Rosy Bee-eater colonies in Nigeria and people interested in surveys in Nigeria are encouraged to contact this organisation.


del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (2001) Handbook of the birds of the world, Vol 6: Mousebirds to Hornbills. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions.

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2 Responses to Rosy Bee-eater (Merops malimbicus): request for information

  1. Joe Taylor says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List is to pend the decision on Rosy Bee-eater Merops malimbicus and keep this discussion open until early 2015, while leaving the current Red List category unchanged in the 2014 update.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 31 March, after which recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in mid-2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  2. Andy Symes says:

    Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, there has been no change to our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List status of this species.

    This discussion will remain open for further comments and information until early 2015, and the current Red List category will remain unchanged in 2014.

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