Loango Weaver Ploceus subpersonatus


Justification of Red List Category
This is a rare and little-known species. It has very specific habitat requirements such that its small range is likely to be fragmented and declining at least in some areas, owing to clearance. Its population is likely to be small and severely fragmented too and it is therefore classified as Vulnerable (Collar and Stuart 1985).

Population justification
The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature 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 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.

Trend justification
The species's population is suspected to be in decline owing to the limited destruction of suitable habitat within its range. The likely rate of decline, however, has not been estimated.

Distribution and population

Ploceus subpersonatus is known from the coastal strip from Gabon, Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo into Cabinda (Angola). It has only recently been discovered in the Congo at two small coastal swamps, including one on the edge of Pointe-Noire (Bulens and Dowsett 2001). Throughout its range it is rare and occurs at low densities (P. Christy in litt. 1999, Dean 2000).


In coastal Cabinda, it is found in rank grass in clearings in secondary forest and at the edge of marshes (Dean 2000). In Gabon, it appears to be confined to coastal savanna, between coastal mangrove forest and forest inland, nesting in palms Phoenix reclinata or Caesalpinia bonduc and has apparently adapted to secondary habitat, including vegetation surrounding small coastal villages (P. Christy in litt. 1999). It is generally found within 3 km of the coast (Fry and Keith 2004) but is recorded further inland along major rivers such as Boma in Cabinda, 75 km up the Congo River.


In Gabon, coastal bush around Port Gentil and Cap Lopez is being converted into allotments. There is potential danger from oil-spills from offshore rigs (W. R. J. Dean in litt. 1999) which may be set to increase due to new oil interests in the area, particularly from US companies (J. Ekstrom in litt. 2003).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
Its habitat is protected in the south of Gabon (P. Christy in litt. 1999). A proposal to protect the mangroves north-east of Libreville (Akanda area) would safeguard the colonies found there (P. Christy in litt. 1999). Habitat along the Cabinda coast is well protected (W. R. J. Dean in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to determine the distribution of the species (for example, at Conkouati, Congo, where habitat is suitable) and assess its numbers. Study the species's habitat requirements using data from population and distribution surveys. Monitor the destruction of suitable habitat within its range. Assess the threat from oil-spills and employ measures to mitigate such an event. Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status, including mangroves north-east of Libreville.


12 cm. Small weaver. Male has black mask which extends onto throat and upper breast in a point. Rich golden-yellow nape, sides of neck and breast with warm, orangey-brown tinges on breast and belly. Olive-yellow mantle and wings and olive-brown tail. Female similar orangey-brown below with more yellow on forehead. Voice Normal weaver-like squizzles and chipping notes.


Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Pilgrim, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Westrip, J.

Ekstrom, J., Dean, R., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Christy, P., Dowsett, R.J., Alexander-Marrack, P., Sargeant, D.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Ploceus subpersonatus. Downloaded from on 13/07/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 13/07/2020.