Justification of Red List Category
This poorly known species is classified as Endangered because it has a very small range, and its forest habitat is likely to be declining in area and extent.
Based on an estimated range size of 3,500 km2, and a population density of 1-2 individuals/km2, Mills et al. (2011) estimate the population to be 3,500-7,000 total individuals. When the same population density is applied to the calculated AOO of 3880 km2, the total population is calculated to be 3,800-7,700 total individuals. The number of mature individuals therefore is estimated to fall between 2,100 and 4,700.
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to habitat destruction, through increases in slash-and-burn cultivation and removal of timber trees (W. R. J. Dean in litt. 1999). Between 2008-2020, 9% of forest cover was lost across the species's range (Global Forest Watch 2021). Between 2017-2020, 3.08% of forest cover was lost, which equates to 8.5% when projected forward over three generations. As the species occurs in degraded and disturbed forest, (W. R. J. Dean in litt. 2005), the rate of decline is suspected to be <10% over three generations.
Laniarius brauni is known from the northern escarpment zone of Angola, from sites in Cuanza Norte. Another possible sighting comes from Quicama, Bengo Province at Dondo, just outside the national park boundary, where an individual bird was previously identified as an out of range Crimson-breasted shrike, Laniarius atrococcineus, but could instead be L. brauni (Dean 2001). The species was first collected at Quiculungo in 1939, with subsequent specimens collected at Canzele in 1954 and 1957, Camabatela in 1955 and Bolongongo in 1957 (W. R. J. Dean in litt. 2005). Further sightings were made 100 km south-west of Quitexe (see Mills et al. 2011), and additional surveys near Quitexe in 2009 found four birds, and near Quibaxi a single bird was heard (Mills et al. 2011). In January 2005, three pairs were recorded near Uige town, Uige Province (Sinclair et al. 2007). It has an altitudinal range of 600-870 m (Mills et al. 2011). It is considered rare at all known sites (Dean 2001; W. R. J. Dean in litt. 2005), though it may be locally common (Sinclair 2005; Sinclair et al. 2007).
It inhabits the undergrowth of secondary and gallery forest (Dean 2000). It has also been observed in the canopy of degraded forest (Sinclair 2005; Sinclair et al. 2007). This suggests it can tolerate a degree of disturbance and there are suggestions that it may avoid the interior of primary forest altogether (Mills et al. 2011).
Deforestation on the escarpment has proceeded steadily in recent decades (Dean 2001). However, the coffee plantations of the area have been neglected in recent years and it is possible the species has benefited from this (Dean 2001). Habitat destruction, through increases in slash-and-burn cultivation and removal of timber trees, could be a major problem (W. R. J. Dean in litt. 1999). Although, the species occurs in degraded and disturbed forest, which is not thought to be threatened (W. R. J. Dean in litt. 2005), the severe degradation of the habitat for agriculture may make the habitat unsuitable for the species, and so this remains a threat (Mills et al. 2011).
Conservation Actions Underway
It may occur within the Quicama National Park (Dean 2001).
20 cm. Black-and-orange forest shrike. Rusty cap and bright orangey-red underparts are diagnostic. Black upperparts with white flash across wings. Similar spp. Very similar to Luehder's Bush-shrike L. luehderi and Gabela Bush-shrike L. amboimensis except for bright orange underparts. Voice Throaty calls of waaark and whook, very similar to that of L. luehderi.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Dean, R., Ekstrom, J., Mills, M., Pilgrim, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Westrip, J.R.S.
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Laniarius brauni. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/11/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/11/2022.