VU
Bannerman's Weaver Ploceus bannermani



Justification

Justification of Red List Category
This species is more common than previously thought. However, while not dependent on primary forest, the species's forest-edge habitat is at risk from clearance for subsistence agriculture in part of its small, fragmented range. It therefore qualifies as Vulnerable.

Population justification
The population size is preliminarily estimated to fall into the band 10,000-19,999 individuals. This equates to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The species's population is suspected to be declining in line with the clearance and degradation of forest within its range. The likely rate of decline, however, has not been estimated.

Distribution and population

Ploceus bannermani occurs in western Cameroon (chiefly in the Bamenda Highlands, notably at Mt Oku, also Mt Tchabal Mbabo on the Adamawa Plateau) and eastern Nigeria (on the Obudu and Mambilla Plateaux, where 12-40 were seen per day in 1988). In 1999, it was found to be common in suitable habitat on the crater of Mt Manenguba, south-west Cameroon (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999c) and, in 1998, rare or local at Kodmin in the nearby Bakossi Mountains, this latter representing a small range-extension to the south-west (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). In Mendongbuo (Big Babanki, Cameroon) montane area it is fairly common, having been recorded at 22 of 50 counting points (Reif et al. 2006, Ho?ák et al. 2009).

Ecology

It occurs at 1,100-2,900 m, occupying forest edge and dense, shrubby habitat in more open parts of montane forest (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998c) and even farmland, where there are some natural trees and shrubs (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000). On the Obudu Plateau, it occurs along the edges of narrow strips of forest in deep ravines. It would appear to tolerate a certain amount of forest degradation (Elgood et al. 1994), and occupies a variety of deforested habitats including Pteridium aquilinum growth (Reif et al. 2007). Breeding has been observed in the Bamenda Highlands in November – December, with three nests found on Pycnostachys eminii (Lamiaceae) (Jan Riegert, unpublished data). At the Obudu Plateau peak breeding time has been observed to be between August and October, which may overlap with the species's moulting period (Barshep and Manu 2013) Breeding has also been observed in December and January at Lake Manengouba, and in November in Danko Forest Reserve, Nigeria.

Threats

There is considerable loss of habitat in the Bamenda Highlands due to clearance for agriculture, grazing, firewood-collection and timber-extraction (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000). Forest fires are probably responsible for the greatest proportion of habitat loss (P. Forboseh in litt. 2003), for example c.500 ha of forest was burnt around Lake Oku in March 2000 (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000). However, the status of forest patches in Manenguba Crater is satisfactory and under very little human pressure (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999c). Plans for a 70,000 ha palm oil plantation threaten to significantly fragment large areas of suitable habitat in southwestern Cameroon if approved (Linder et al. 2012).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Local communities are actively engaged in conserving montane forest at Mt Oku, with support from the Kilum-Ijim Forest Project (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000). There is an ongoing programme to monitor the condition of forest there, as well as the overall extent of forest cover in the Bamenda Highlands (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000). Community-based conservation activities was extended to other forest fragments in the Bamenda Highlands in 2000 (J. DeMarco in litt. 2000). A small area of forest is protected on the Obudu Plateau, and the montane area within the Gashaka-Gumti National Park, adjacent to Mambilla Plateau, affords good protection to the species (P. Hall in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct field surveys on the Mambilla and Obudu Plateaux in Nigeria to ascertain the species's status there (P. Hall in litt. 1999). Conduct surveys in forest patches and other suitable habitat in the Cameroon mountains which are as yet unsurveyed (F. Maisels in litt. 1998, J. DeMarco in litt. 2000). Assess the total population size. Carry out regular surveys to monitor population trends. Monitor rates of forest clearance and degradation within its range. Increase the area of suitable habitat that is covered by protected areas and community-based conservation management.

Identification

13-14 cm. Medium-sized weaver. Greenish-olive upperparts except for crown and nape which are rich, golden-yellow. Black face and throat, imparting masked effect. Remainder of underparts bright golden-yellow. Black bill and legs. Female identical to male. Voice Undescribed. Hints Birds sometimes occur in small groups.

Acknowledgements

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Westrip, J.

Contributors
DeMarco, J., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Forboseh, P., Hall, P., Maisels, F., Riegert, J., Thomas, D. & Whytock, R.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Ploceus bannermani. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/01/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/01/2021.