Grimwood's Longclaw Macronyx grimwoodi


Justification of Red List category

This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km² combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is considered locally common to common (Dowsett 2009, Tyler and Sharpe 2020).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Distribution and population

Macronyx grimwoodi is known from the south-western Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), central and eastern Angola and extreme north-west Zambia (Keith et al. 1992). It is common in places in north-west Zambia (e.g. an estimated one pair every 300 m on Chitunta plain), where no threats are known (Dowsett et al. 2008).


It is a species of moist grassland, occurring particularly near streams, rivers, drainage lines and in grassy depressions at 800-1,500 m (Keith et al. 1992). Open floodplain grasslands were the most suitable habitat at Lagoa Carumbo (Mills and Dean 2013). It is a dambo endemic and occupies moister habitats than the sympatric Fulleborn's Longclaw M. fuelleborni and is larger than Rosy-breasted Longclaw M. ameliae. It feeds on small beetles, weevils, grasshoppers and bugs (Keith et al. 1992).


Threats are poorly known, but may include burning and other un-favourable grassland management regimes. However, dambos are not usually considered suitable for cultivation and are relatively unthreatened (F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. J. Dowsett in litt. 2016). There is no recent information on its population or potential threats in the core of its range in Angola or DRC (Dean 2001).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys, particularly in the DRC and suitable floodplain habitat in Angola (see Mills and Dean 2013), to determine true range and abundance. Monitor the effect of grassland management regimes at known sites. Study its niche separation from other sympatric longclaw species. Protect large areas of suitable habitat at a number of sites across its range.


Text account compilers
Rotton, H., Clark, J.

Dowsett, R.J., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Leonard, P., Mahood, S., Mills, M., Robertson, P., Roxburgh, L., Symes, A. & Westrip, J.R.S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Macronyx grimwoodi. Downloaded from on 28/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/02/2024.