Elgon Francolin Scleroptila elgonensis


Justification of Red List Category
This newly-split species is suspected to be undergoing moderately rapid declines owing to the loss and degradation of its high altitude moorland and grassland habitats from overgrazing and conversion for agriculture, and perhaps also from hunting pressure. It is therefore classified as Near Threatened.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is reported to be locally common to rare (del Hoyo et al. 1994).

Distribution and population

Scleroptila elgonensis occupies a restricted and fragmented range in central Kenya and eastern Uganda, occurring most commonly in Mt. Elgon Forest Reserve and Mau Narok (Madge and McGowan 2002).


Found in pairs or family parties and in montane Erica moorland and grassland between 1,800 m and 4,000 m, common above 3,000 m on Mt. Elgon (del Hoyo et al. 1994, Zimmerman et al. 1996). Diet believed to be bulbs and roots (del Hoyo et al. 1994).


Although protected in parts of its range, such as at Mt Elgon, elsewhere its high altitude moorland and grassland habitats are suspected to be under pressure, with the main threats coming from grazing pressure and conversion of land for agricultural purposes. It may be overhunted for food in Uganda (del Hoyo et al. 1994).

Conservation actions

Conservation and research actions underway
Occurs in Mt Elgon Forest Reserve.

Conservation and research actions proposed
Conduct surveys to assess its distribution, habitat requirements, and the severity of threats. Ensure effective protection and management of protected areas within the range.


c. 32cm. A medium-sized francolin with a white throat, dark rufous-brown upperparts and rufous underparts with full black spots. Similar spp. S. psilolaema has paler buff underparts with a few chestnut markings, is paler on the upperparts and has a black spotted throat with no


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Martin, R, Taylor, J. & Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Scleroptila elgonensis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/05/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/05/2020.