Grey-striped Francolin Pternistis griseostriatus


Justification of Red List category
This species has been downlisted to Least Concern because published evidence indicates that it has a large range and probably has a moderately large population. Although it will be affected by on-going habitat loss and degradation, it shows tolerance of modified habitats and consequently it is only thought to be in slow to moderate decline. However, the species may qualify for uplisting in the future if evidence suggests that the rate of decline is more severe than this.

Population justification
The population was previously estimated to number 2,500-9,999 individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 1,667-6,666 mature individuals, rounded here to 1,500-7,000 mature individuals. However, the species's estimated range size has since increased by a factor of five, suggesting that there may be 7,500-35,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The species's population is suspected to be declining in line with habitat degradation, judged overall to involve the clearance of undergrowth in about 20% of its habitat (M. Mills in litt. 2005); however, the species is evidently tolerant of modified habitats, including relatively heavily cultivated areas (P. Vaz Pinto in litt. 2004, M. Mills in litt. 2005, 2012), thus the decline is thought to be slow to moderate.

Distribution and population

Pternistis griseostriatus is found throughout the escarpment zone and widely in the northern coastal plain of western Angola (Collar and Stuart 1985, Keane et al. in press b, P. Vaz Pinto in litt. 2004, M. Mills in litt. 2005, Mills 2010). It was first collected in 1957 and was recorded on only a few occasions until recently, when observers have been more easily able to enter the country (W. R. J. Dean in litt. 1999, M. Mills in litt. 2005). It appears to be common in some areas (P. Vaz Pinto in litt. 2004, M. Mills in litt. 2005, 2012; Mills 2010).


It is found in secondary and gallery forest, occurring in thickets and weed-covered areas in the north of its range and in the extensive dry dense forest and thickets that are typical of the northern coastal plain (P. Vaz Pinto in litt. 2004). Reports suggest that it may be more abundant in the latter habitat and it appears to make use of secondary forest, as long as dense cover is present (P. Vaz Pinto in litt. 2004, M. Mills in litt. 2005). The species is not uncommon in heavily cultivated areas (M. Mills in litt. 2012). It feeds, in both early morning and late afternoon, in grassland and abandoned cotton fields adjacent to the forest on small arthropods, shoots and seeds (McGowan 1994).


Previous civil unrest in the species's range has now abated (M. Mills in litt. 2004, P. Vaz Pinto in litt. 2004), but this has facilitated the growth of agricultural activities. Forest on the escarpment is threatened by clearance for subsistence agriculture and charcoal production, although the latter only occurs at sites at c.300 m elevation (Mills 2010). Forest habitats were previously thought to be decreasing at a slow, but steady rate (M. Mills in litt. 2005); however, clearance of the forest understorey and ring-barking of large canopy trees to allow the cultivation of crops such as bananas, maize, beans and cassava, is reportedly taking place at an alarming but unknown rate (Mills 2010). The species appears to show substantial tolerance of heavy habitat modification and occurs in cultivated areas (M. Mills in litt. 2012), thus agricultural expansion is currently not thought to be driving a rapid decline in this species's population. Urban development also poses a threat to the species's habitat (P. Vaz Pinto in litt. 2012). There is little information on the extent of hunting or the threat it might pose, but it appears not to be serious (P. Vaz Pinto in litt. 2004, M. Mills in litt. 2005)

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
A sizeable population was discovered in Quiçama National Park in 2000 (Dean 2001, P. Vaz Pinto in litt. 2004). A protected area of c.20 km2 at Chongoroi, in Benguela Province, was recommended in the early 1970s, but has not yet been established (Huntley 1974, Huntley and Matos 1994).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Use satellite imagery to assess the current extent of forest cover and to identify potential areas of suitable habitat. Design and evaluate a robust survey technique, perhaps based on playback of vocalisations. Assess the impact of hunting on populations. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status, including the area proposed for protection at Chongoroi.


33 cm. Rotund, short-tailed, terrestrial gamebird. Adults easily recognised by rich chestnut-streaked breast, mantle and upperwing-coverts. Pale throat, dark upper bill and orangey lower mandible and legs. Juvenile brownish, heavily streaked with black on both upper and underparts. Voice Described as very similar to kerak kerak crowing of Scaly Francolin F. squamatus, although there is some disagreement about this.


Text account compilers
Ekstrom, J., Keane, A., Pilgrim, J., Shutes, S. & Taylor, J.

Dean, R., Hawkins, F., Mills, M. & Vaz Pinto, P.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Pternistis griseostriatus. Downloaded from on 01/03/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 01/03/2024.