Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Endangered because it has a very small range, which is severely fragmented and suffering a continuing decline owing to pressure from human use on its montane forest habitat.
The total population is estimated in the range 2,500-9,999 individuals based on data given by Forboseh and Ikfuingei (2001). This equates to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals.
This species's population is suspected to be decreasing rapidly, in line with habitat loss and degradation within its range.
Tauraco bannermani is mainly restricted to the Bamenda Highlands in western Cameroon, but small populations exist on nearby Mt Mbam (Njabo and Languy 2000) and, most recently discovered, at Fossimondi and Fomenji to the south-west (Nkembi et al. 2006). It is only likely to survive if the Kilum-Ijim forest, the largest remaining montane forest area in the Bamenda Highlands, is preserved (D. Thomas in litt. 1996). Research in 1994-1995 found the species in several remaining forest remnants in the Bamenda Highlands and seemingly able to survive in very small forest fragments (<1 km2) (McKay and Coulthard 1996). However, follow-up surveys in 2000 found some of these forest fragments had almost completely disappeared, with T. bannermani either absent or with only a few pairs remaining (Njabo and Languy 2000). In Kilum-Ijim, it is unlikely that more than 1,000-1,500 pairs occur (Forboseh and Ikfuingei 2001). In 2003-2009 it was regularly seen/heard in Mendongbuo (Big Babanki) and adjacent montane areas, recorded at 9 out of 23 forest counting points (Reif et al. 2006, Sedlá?ek et al. 2007, Ho?ák et al. 2010).
It is an arboreal frugivore of montane forest (McKay 1994). It can survive in degraded and secondary forest as long as sufficient tall, fruiting trees remain (Stuart 1986). In fragmented landscapes, however, it requires the presence of larger blocks of higher quality forest (D. Ho?ák in litt. 2016). At lower altitudes, it is replaced by its congener, the Green Turaco T. persa, which is found in more open forest or scrub (McKay 1994, McKay and Coulthard 1996). It would appear to move to higher altitudes (2,200-2,600 m) during the breeding season, probably to exploit seasonal fruiting patterns (Forboseh and Ikfuingei 2001). It is very sensitive to forest area reduction (Ho?ák et al. 2010) and its probability of occurrence declines when the forest cover drops below 60% (D. Ho?ák in litt. 2016). It is easily recognised due to its dawn and morning chorus, when neighbouring groups (up to 15 individuals) answer each other (J. Riegert in litt. 2016).
The greatest threat to this species is habitat loss: the Kilum-Ijim forest halved in area between 1963 and 1986. Following changes to a major long-term conservation project in 2004, it is reported that the threats of habitat loss and degradation at Kilum-Ijim have increased (P. Forboseh in litt. 2007, R. Fotso in litt. 2007, Stewart 2009). Forest fires are responsible for the greatest proportion of habitat loss (P. Forboseh in litt. 2003), for example c.500 ha of forest burnt around Lake Oku in March 2000 (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000). It is also under serious threat from forest clearance for agriculture, grazing, firewood and timber, with birds surviving in forest fragments in imminent danger of extinction (McKay and Coulthard 1996), particularly due to their reluctance to cross open habitats (Njabo and Languy 2000). The species is hunted for its feathers, which are given as awards in local ceremonies (K. Stewart in litt. 2012).
Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. Local communities are actively engaged in conserving montane forest. However, there is now reportedly a lack of adequate conservation action taking place in the area around Kilum-Ijum Forest, despite the presence of many forest management institutions around the forest (P. Forboseh in litt. 2007). Community-based conservation activities were extended to other forest fragments in the Bamenda Highlands in 2000 (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000, P. Forboseh in litt. 2003).
43 cm. Large, green bird, dark green to paler green on the underparts with diagnostic (within its range) orange crest. In flight, shows bright crimson wing-patches. Juvenile a duller version of adult. Voice Typical kow kow kow of green turacos but higher-pitched and more rapid delivery. Song readily distinguished from Green Turaco T. persa by spacing between first note and rest of song. Hints Very secretive and difficult to see but has loud, distinctive call which can be heard for up to 1 km in hilly areas. Singing most frequent during the breeding season.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Khwaja, N., Pilgrim, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Westrip, J.
Riegert, J., Thomas, D., Forboseh, P., DeMarco, J,, Stewart, K., Fotso, R., Maisels, F., Hořák, D.
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Tauraco bannermani. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/11/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/11/2020.