Mount Kupe Bush-shrike Chlorophoneus kupeensis


Justification of Red List Category
This species qualifies as Endangered because it has a very small range, and is likely to have an extremely small population. Furthermore, the quality of its habitat on Mt Kupe is declining such that the future of the species there is increasingly uncertain (Collar and Stuart 1985).

Population justification
If the altitudinal range and status of the species near Lake Edib are similar to those on Mt Kupe, the population in central Bakossi could be c.50 pairs, thus the population is best placed in the range 50-249 mature individuals. This equates to 75-374 individuals in total, rounded here to 70-400 individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline at an unquantified rate owing to the clearance of the species's forest habitat for agriculture (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d; F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt.1999).

Distribution and population

Telophorus kupeensis was thought to be endemic to the small forest (c.21 km2) on Mt Kupe, western Cameroon, where only seven pairs were known to be present, but has now been discovered at additional localities. The first includes two sites in the Bakossi Mountains: one near Kodmin (N. Borrow in litt. 2002) and the other near Lake Edib, where the area of suitable habitat is about eight times that on Mt Kupe (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). The second locality is the southern sector of the Banyang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary, where a single bird was seen in May 1999 (R. Fotso in litt. 1999). If the altitudinal range and status of the species near Lake Edib are similar to the situation on Mt Kupe, the population in central Bakossi could be in the order of c.50 pairs (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). In 1999, the species was not located during surveys on nearby Mt Nlonako, north Bakossi Mountains, or on the southern slopes of Mt Manenguba (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999c, Fotso et al. 2001, Dowsett-Lemaire 2004), nor was it located on Mt Manenguba during surveys in March 2000 (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2000b, Dowsett-Lemaire 2004). The species has also been found at two localities in Nigeria (the Boshi Extension Forest in 2004 and 2007, and Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary in 2010 [Cox et al. 2011]).


It is found in primary forest and, on Mt Kupe, has only been observed in areas where the understorey is relatively open. Its altitudinal range is 950-1,450 m on Mt Kupe, 1,000-1,250 m near Lake Edib (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d, Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2000b, Faucher 1998) and the single dead individual found at Kodmin was at 1,485 m (N. Borrow in litt. 2002). It has been recorded at 850 m at Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary (Cox et al. 2011). It feeds on insects.


On Mt Kupe, forest is being cleared for farmland, particularly on the south, south-west and east slopes, in some areas up to 1,500 m (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 1999) and up to 1,100-1,200 m on the northern slopes (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). Forest is still open to logging concessions in the Bakossi Mountains (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d) and a road was under construction which would open the area up to small-scale logging activities (C. Bowden in litt. 2003). Plans for a 70,000 ha palm oil plantation are underway (F. Dowsett-Lemaire and R. J. Dowsett in litt. 2016) and may threaten to significantly fragment large areas of suitable habitat in southwestern Cameroon (Linder et al. 2012).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
There is an ongoing conservation and development project at Mt Kupe, but much of the forest has been cleared. Forest in the southern sector of Banyang Mbo is relatively intact and protected due to its inaccessability, and the wildlife sanctuary there is the focus of a major conservation programme (R. Fotso in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey other areas where the species could occur. Conduct research to confirm the altitudinal range and status of the species in the Bakossi mountains (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d). Survey the Banyang Mbo Wildlife Sanctuary to establish the species's status there (R. Fotso in litt. 1999). Conduct surveys to clarify the species's ecological requirements (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1999c). Investigate the species's feeding ecology and territory size through colour-ringing studies (Dowsett-Lemaire 2004). Increase the area of suitable habitat that has protected status.


20 cm. Grey, green and white shrike. Combination of white throat contrasting with grey underparts and black mask unmistakeable. Similar spp. Grey-green Bush-shrike T. bocagei has white, not grey, underparts. Voice Song a loud, babbler-like chatter thec-thec, kh-kh-kh ending in a series of tchrraa-tchrraa-tchrraa (Dowsett-Lemaire 1999). Hints Usually observed singly or in pairs, though recent sightings have been in mixed bird parties (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 1998d, R. Fotso in litt. 1999).


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

Borrow, N., Bowden, C., Dowsett-Lemaire, F., Fotso, R., Whytock, R. & Dowsett, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Chlorophoneus kupeensis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/09/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/09/2022.