Justification of Red List Category
This species has been downlisted from Near Threatened because its range is estimated to be larger than previously thought. It is now listed as Least Concern on the basis that it is not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the Red List criteria.
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as locally common.
Its habitat is apparently not under immediate threat, and the population is thus suspected to be stable.
Xenocopsychus ansorgei has a localised distribution on the escarpment of western Angola, where it is confined to four areas, eastern Namibe and Huila, N'Dalatando in Cuanza Norte, Mt Soque in Huambo and the Gabela area in Cuanza Sul (Dean 2000). In May 2012, three pairs were recorded in the Zebra Mountains of northern Namibia, c.240 km south of the closest previously-known population in Angola, with birds since recorded at other nearby sites with suitable scree slopes (Swanepoel 2013). It is common where it occurs.
The species is present at 690-2,200 m (del Hoyo et al. 2005). It is found in caves and on rocky grassland slopes and cliffs with nearby forest, feeding on insects. The species is reportedly also seen in riverine forest and thick undergrowth on forested slopes (del Hoyo et al. 2005). It forages on or near the ground. Breeding takes place in September-November, with pairs producing two broods in rapid succession. The nest, in which 2-3 eggs are laid, is an open cup of twigs, grasses and dead leaves, lined with plant material, and situated on a rock ledge under an overhang (del Hoyo et al. 2005).
This species's fairly limited range may make it vulnerable to alterations to its habitat. This would probably be most likely driven by the spread of small-scale cultivation and livestock farming.
Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation action is known for this species.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Mahood, S., O'Brien, A., Pilgrim, J., Robertson, P., Symes, A. & Taylor, J.
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Xenocopsychus ansorgei. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/12/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 10/12/2019.