East Coast Akalat Sheppardia gunningi


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
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Near Threatened A3c+4c
2016 Near Threatened C1
2012 Near Threatened C2a(ii)
2008 Near Threatened C2a(ii)
2007 Near Threatened
2004 Vulnerable
2000 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable
1988 Threatened
Species attributes

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

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 741,000 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 10000-19999 medium inferred 2012
Population trend decreasing 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) 20-25 - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) 20-25 - - -
Number of subpopulations 4-20 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation 1-89 - - -

Population justification: Arabuko-Sokoke Forest in Kenya is believed to support c.7,500 pairs or around 15,000 mature individuals. Zanzibar is thought to host 100 pairs (L. Hansen in litt. 2021). Other subpopulations in Tanzania, Malawi and Mozambique are not thought to be large. Hence the global population is best treated as moderately small, at 10,000-19,999 mature individuals. This equates to 15,000-29,999 individuals in total.

Trend justification: The population is inferred to be in decline owing to ongoing habitat destruction. Remote-sensing data suggests that this species's range lost 9.7% of forest cover between 2010-2020 (Global Forest Watch 2021). Between 2017-2020, the range lost 4.2% of forest cover (Global Forest Watch 2021), equivalent to 10.2% when projected forward over 10 years. With the additional habitat degradation and the removal of dead logs and moss (P. Matiku in litt. 2021; J. John in litt. 2021), it is suspected that the species may experience declines in the range of 20-25% over three generations in the future.

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Presence Origin Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Kenya extant native yes
Malawi extant native yes
Mozambique extant native yes
Tanzania extant native yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Kenya Arabuko-Sokoke Forest
Kenya Lower Tana River Forests
Kenya Shimba Hills
Malawi Lake-shore Forest Reserves
Malawi South Viphya Forest Reserve
Mozambique Mount Mabu
Mozambique Zambezi River Delta
Tanzania East Usambara Mountains
Tanzania Jozani Forest
Tanzania Kisarawe District Coastal Forests
Tanzania Lindi District Coastal Forests
Tanzania Nguu Mountains
Tanzania Pande Game Reserve and Dondwe Coastal Forests

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Artificial/Terrestrial Plantations marginal unknown
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Dry major resident
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland major resident
Altitude 0 - 1750 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Agro-industry farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Majority (50-90%) Slow, Significant Declines Low Impact: 4
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
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 - Unspecified species Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Majority (50-90%) Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem degradation
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases - Loxodonta cyclotis Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Negligible declines Low Impact: 4
Ecosystem degradation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Sheppardia gunningi. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/species/factsheet/east-coast-akalat-sheppardia-gunningi on 07/06/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org on 07/06/2023.