081
Annobón

Country/Territory Equatorial Guinea
Area 17 km2
Altitude 0 - 600m
Priority high
Habitat loss limited
Knowledge poor

General characteristics

This tiny volcanic island (formerly known as Pagalu) off the west coast of Africa forms part of Equatorial Guinea. It is the most remote of the Gulf of Guinea islands, which include São Tomé (EBA 082), Príncipe (EBA 083) and Bioko (part of EBA 086) (see p. 306 for map). Unlike Bioko, which lies on the continental shelf and has probably been linked with continental Africa in the relatively recent past, Príncipe, São Tomé and Annobón are true oceanic islands, and have a depauperate avifauna typical of such places, with low diversity but a high degree of endemism.

The native vegetation on Annobón includes lowland rain forest with mossy forest above 500 m, and, in the drier north, a savanna-like formation of grassland and scattered bushes.

Restricted-range species

Information on the birds comes from a brief visit in 1989, the first one by an ornithologist in 30 years (Harrison 1990a), when the two endemic species (the only two passerines on the island) appeared common and widespread, occurring wherever bush- and tree-cover existed. On the other hand, comparison of records of Columba malherbii from the turn of the century (when it was very common) with those from the 1950s indicated that this species had become rarer: in 1989 it was only seen twice, although it may remain common in the less-disturbed southern forests, which were not visited.


Species IUCN Category
Sao Tome Bronze-naped Pigeon (Columba malherbii) NT
(Terpsiphone smithii) NR
Annobon White-eye (Zosterops griseovirescens) VU

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
GQ001 Annobón Equatorial Guinea

Threat and conservation

Although the vegetation on the island has, to some extent, been modified (e.g. plantations of fruit, oil-palm and sugar-cane in the north), the changes are not as extensive as on São Tomé and Príncipe.

Both the endemic bird species are classified as Vulnerable on account of their tiny ranges, which makes them especially susceptible to chance events-even though it is possible that the population of Zosterops griseovirescens may be growing as a result of disturbance to the vegetation which creates habitat favourable to it.

There are currently no protected areas on Annobón.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Annobón. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/10/2019.