Justification of Red List Category
The species has been reported as abundant, being found in pairs, small parties and occasionally flocks of up to 30 individuals (Keith et al. 1992). However, there have been no recent surveys and therefore its status is uncertain so it is assessed as Data Deficient.
This is a poorly known species and no population estimates are available.
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to potential habitat degradation (del Hoyo et al. 2004).
Spizocorys obbiensis is restricted to a narrow coastal strip in south-eastern Somalia, where it is known to occur along c.570 km of coast, from Halhambe to 47 km south of Jiriiban (Ash and Miskell 1998). It is restricted to a strip only about 1 km wide in the south, but occurs up to 40 km inland in the north (Ash and Miskell 1998). The most recent sighting was in April 2006, when several pairs were seen in Ceel Dheer and Mareeg (J. Miskell in litt. 2006). The species has been reported as abundant, being found in pairs, small parties and occasionally flocks of up to 30 individuals (Keith et al. 1992). However, there have been no recent surveys and therefore its status is uncertain.
It is found in large, fixed and vegetated dunes. Breeding has been recorded in May, June and November, with a clutch size of 2-3 (Ash and Miskell 1998).
Although this species can survive in heavily grazed habitat (Keith et al. 1992), it is possible that further intensification of grazing and increased demand for fuelwood, particularly in areas close to Mogadishu will lead to the destabilisation of dunes and consequently the destruction of the species's habitat (Hutchinson 1991, Robertson in prep.).
Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.
12cm, 12-16g. Small lark with a stout bill, crouches to feed in vegetated coastal dune habitat. Prominent supercilium, dark eye-stripe, moustacial and malar stripes. Whitish below, with regular blackish streaks along flanks and on breast. Similar spp. Flappet Lark Mirafra cinnamomea is buffy below, Singing Bushlark Mirafra cantillans has rufous wing panel and longer tail, also dark on bill. Voice flight call tip-tip.
Text account compilers
Bird, J., Butchart, S., Martin, R, Robertson, P., Symes, A. & Westrip, J.
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Spizocorys obbiensis. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/10/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/10/2022.