Abbott's Starling Poeoptera femoralis


Taxonomic note

Poeoptera femoralis (del Hoyo and Collar 2016) was previously listed as Cinnyricinclus femoralis.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
- C2a(ii) C2a(i,ii)

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Endangered C2a(ii)
2016 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2012 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2008 Vulnerable C2a(ii)
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
1988 Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency High
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 42,600 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 1000-2499 medium estimated 2020
Population trend Decreasing medium inferred -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) 1-10 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 1-10 - - -
Number of subpopulations 1 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation 100 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 3.5 - - -

Population justification: Otieno et al. (2007) estimated the population density of the Kereita forest block in the Kikuyu escarpment forest, Kenya, to be 1 bird/3 km2. This species is described as locally scarce (Zimmerman et al. 1996) to locally common (Bennun and Njoroge 1999). The area of mapped range is 3,909 km2 (BirdLife International 2021). Assuming that it inhabits the range at the same population densities observed by Otieno et al. (2007), then the total population may be estimated at 1,303 individuals. This is roughly equivalent to 873 mature individuals, hence it is placed here in the band 250-999 mature individuals.

This species has a small range. There is some evidence to suggest that this species may make substantial movements between the different forest blocks in which it occurs (Zimmerman et al. 1996; J. Bradley in litt. 2021). Therefore, in the absence of other data, it is assumed that the species functions as one subpopulation.

Trend justification: The species's population is inferred to be declining in line with the clearance and degradation of highland forest within its range (Otieno et al. 2007; Global Forest Watch 2020), and reports of a reduction of observation records at monitored sites (P. Gacheru in litt. 2021). The likely rate of decline is tentatively suspected to fall in the band of 1-10% over three generations.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Kenya N Extant Yes
Tanzania N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Kenya Aberdare Mountains
Kenya Kikuyu Escarpment forest
Kenya Mount Kenya
Kenya Taita Hills Forests
Kenya Chyulu Hills forests
Tanzania Arusha National Park and vicinity
Tanzania Mount Kilimanjaro
Tanzania North Pare Mountains

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane major resident
Altitude 1800 - 2600 m Occasional altitudinal limits (max) 2800 m

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Biological resource use Logging & wood harvesting - Unintentional effects: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest] Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - Bos taurus Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation
Natural system modifications Fire & fire suppression - Increase in fire frequency/intensity Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 6
Ecosystem degradation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Poeoptera femoralis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/07/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 03/07/2022.