Pale-throated Barbet Gymnobucco vernayi


Justification of Red List Category
This species is considered to be in continuing decline, although we can only suspect an overall rate. Population size is calculated to be below 10,000, and all individuals are considered to exist in a single subpopulation. Based on this, it is listed as Vulnerable under C2a(ii).

Population justification
Current population size calculated based on local observations (M. Mills in litt. 2019) and an expected density of <c.1.3 mature individuals/km2. True figure could be considerably lower and a more robust population estimate is needed.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to loss of suitable nesting and roosting trees (del Hoyo et al. 2002). Extrapolating data from Tracewski et al. (2016) suggests that the area of forest within the species’s range is declining at a rate of approximately 8.6% over three generations (25.5 years). Therefore, if we assume that population trends are proportional to habitat trends, we can suspect that the population is declining at a rate of 8.6% over three generations. here placed in the band 1-9%. Survey work has shown the species to have disappeared from or declined at some locations (M. Mills in litt. 2018), which further supports the view that the species is in decline.

Distribution and population

West-central uplands of Angola (Cuanza Sul, Benguela and Huambo).


Until recently considered conspecific with Naked-faced Barbet (G. calvus) (del Hoyo et al. 2018). Its habitat is described as similar to that of G. calvus (del Hoyo et al. 2018), and so it likely occurs in primary forest, as well as into secondary areas adjacent to such forest, along with wooded grasslands and pastures (del Hoyo et al. 2002).


Habitat loss – particularly the loss of nesting and roosting trees (del Hoyo et al. 2018) – is considered to be the key threat to the species. Commercial logging, commercial farming (especially bananas) and charcoal production have emerged as serious threats to remaining forest (Mills in litt 2019).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway

No targeted conservation action is known for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed

Monitor the population size. Monitor habitat loss within the species's range. Mills et al. (2013) recommend protecting the Namba mountains, argued to be the location of the last significant population of the species (M. Mills in litt 2019).


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J., Ekstrom, J., Smith, D.

Mills, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Gymnobucco vernayi. Downloaded from on 18/01/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 18/01/2021.