Archived 2017 topics: Fox’s Weaver (Ploceus spekeoides): request for information

This discussion was first published as part of the 2016 Red List update. At the time a decision regarding its status was pended, but to enable potential reassessment of this species as part of the 2017 Red List update this post remained open and the date of posting was updated.

BirdLife species factsheet for Fox’s Weaver: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22718933

This species is poorly recorded, with no population estimate, known from a restricted area of seasonally flooded wetlands in northern Uganda (Collar and Stuart 1985, Byaruhanga et al. 2001, A. Byaruhanga in litt. 2003). It has been recorded at two Important Bird Areas, Lake Bisina (250 km2) and Lake Opeta (570 km2), and also has been found in marshland between these lakes. There are also records from Rhino Camp in Arua and from the Lake Kyoga system near Nakasongola. In August 1996, 47 nests of this species were recorded around Lake Bisina, but it has not been recorded breeding in this area since (Byaruhanga et al. 2001).

It is currently listed as globally Near Threatened, because it has been assumed to have small population which may be declining, but there was no strong evidence to support listing this species as threatened. However, recent analysis as part of a compilation of a list of the Nationally Threated Species for Uganda (WCS 2016), has listed this species as Endangered under criterion B2ab(iii,v), as the species may have a small Area of Occupancy, which may be declining and as such the species is threatened by habitat loss (H. Mugabe in litt. 2016). The Ugandan national Red List does not include an estimate for AOO nor details of how it was calculated, but the threshold for classification as Endangered is 500 km2.

We request any information regarding this listing to confirm whether this species should be uplisted from Near Threatened to Endangered.

References:

Byaruhanga, A.; Kasoma, P.; Pomeroy, D. 2001. Important Bird Areas in Uganda. Nature Uganda-The East African Natural History Society, Kampala.

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.

WCS. 2016. Nationally Threatened Species for Uganda.

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3 Responses to Archived 2017 topics: Fox’s Weaver (Ploceus spekeoides): request for information

  1. James Westrip (BirdLife) says:

    Based on available information, our proposal for the 2016 Red List would be to pend the decision on this species and keep this discussion open until 2017, while leaving the current Red List category unchanged in the 2016 update.

    Final 2016 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in early December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  2. Valéry Schollaert says:

    I lived 3 years in Uganda as a director of a birding travel agency. We visited lakes Opeta and Bisina regularly to look for Fox’s Weaver, often with local guides, on boat.

    In 3 years, we wound one male south of Soroti on December 2015, that’s the only record. I’m not aware of any other record from other guides / companies, except one claim south of Murchisson Falls National Park for which I don’t have details (that would be a range extension).

    I’m afraid this bird is endangered, even critically?

  3. Hannah Wheatley (BirdLife) says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information, our preliminary proposal for the 2017 Red List would be to retain this species as NT under criteria C1+2a(i).

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 4 August, after which the recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    Please note that we will then only post final recommended categorisations on forum discussions where these differ from the initial proposal.

    The final 2017 Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in early December, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

Comments are closed.