Philippa's Crombec Sylvietta philippae


Justification of Red List Category
This species is poorly known, and there is insufficient information to estimate range size, population size and trend. Accordingly the species is presently classified as Data Deficient.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as fairly common (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

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

Distribution and population

Sylvietta philippae is found in north-west and west Somalia and adjacent parts of Ethiopia (Urban et al. 1997) up to 80 km from the border (L. D. C. Fishpool in litt. 2006), but may be more widespread in Ethiopia (Ash 1982). There are also several records in the Bogol Manyo area in south-east Somalia (J. Ash in litt. 2007), and recent records from near Inaafmadow in north-west Somalia (Mills and Cohen 2015). In Somalia it has been described as widespread but not particularly common, and given the size of its range it may not be at risk (J. Miskell in litt. 2006).


It is a bird of semi-desert, frequenting fairly dense thickets of Acacia and Commiphora on rocky ground and red sandy soil, where it feeds on minute beetles and other insects (Urban et al. 1997). It has been noted as fairly common at about 300 m elevation, and ranges up to 900 m (Urban et al. 1997).


At one site in Ethiopia the species is possibly threatened by exploitation of its scrub habitat for charcoal production and extraction of gum and resin (EWNHS 1996). As it appears to be restricted to denser areas of thicket it could be sensitive to habitat alteration through fuelwood collection or grazing.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
None is known.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey semi-desert in Somalia and adjacent parts of Ethiopia. Study ecological requirements and threats.


8cm, 9-10g. Very short tailed warbler with a short bill for a Sylvietta species. Yellowish underparts and greyish upperparts, with a narrow white supercilium and white throat. Voice Repeated three note phrase with the middle note higher, 'te chirr cheeses'.


Text account compilers
Robertson, P., Butchart, S., Bird, J., Starkey, M., Martin, R., Symes, A., Westrip, J.

Miskell, J., Fishpool, L., Ash, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Sylvietta philippae. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/11/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/11/2022.