Justification of Red List Category
This species qualifies as Endangered as it is known from only a few sites and is therefore likely to have a very small and declining range owing to forest destruction. Surveys are required to confirm whether the total population is lower than inferred and whether the species is experiencing serious declines in the face of significant habitat loss, in which case it may qualify as Critically Endangered.
The population is estimated at 2,352-4,704 (6-12 individuals/km2 x 392 km2 [45% EOO]), i.e. perhaps best placed in band 2,500-9,999 mature individuals. This equates to 3,750-14,999 individuals, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals. Density from that recorded for congener Chlorocichla flaviventris, and up to the lower quartile of three estimates of eight African greenbuls. However, further surveys are required to get a better estimate of population size, and it could number only 250 individuals.
The population is suspected to be in rapid decline, owing to habitat loss and degradation.
Chlorocichla prigoginei is known from two sites: the Beni-Butembo area north-west of Lake Edward (14 specimens) and on the Lendu Plateau (1 specimen) in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. In February 1994, the first observations since 1981 were made in Djugu Forest (a known locality) on the Lendu Plateau. There are thought to be as few as 40-50 individuals on the Lendu Plateau, following the loss of forest there, and it has been suggested that the total population may possibly number no more than 250 individuals. However, surveys are required to confirm the size of populations at known sites and the extent to which it is restricted to these sites, as the species could occur over a larger area in the region than is known (L. Fishpool in litt. 2007).
The species occurs in forest patches, thickets and gallery forest along the upper courses of rivers at intermediate elevations (1,300-1,800 m), where it inhabits the dense understorey. More recently, birds have been located in a patch of slightly degraded, damp, montane forest on the Lendu Plateau (Pedersen 1997). It feeds on seeds, fruit and small caterpillars (Keith et al. 1992).
The status of the forest in the Beni-Butembo region is unknown but it is likely to be under serious threat from local encroachment and logging. Similarly, the Lendu Plateau habitat was reported to be under serious threat from encroachment from surrounding villages, including widespread and uncontrolled local logging (Pedersen 1997). In 1994, only c.20 ha of forest was seen to remain. Now, all forest on the Lendu Plateau is reported to be gone (N. Burgess in litt. 2003).
Conservation Actions Underway
No conservation action is known and neither the Lendu Plateau nor the Beni-Butembo area is currently protected.
20 cm. Medium-sized greenbul. Drab olive-green with yellow throat, greyish around lores and pale eye-ring. Similar spp. Could be confused with Joyful Greenbul C. laetissima or Yellow-bellied Greenbul C. flaviventris, but smaller and darker. Voice Unknown.
Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Ekstrom, J., Shutes, S., Taylor, J., Symes, A., Westrip, J.
Fishpool, L., Dowsett, R.J., Burgess, N.
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Chlorocichla prigoginei. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/08/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 13/08/2020.