Red-collared Mountain-babbler Kupeornis rufocinctus


Justification of Red List Category
This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is suspected to be undergoing a moderately rapid population decline owing to on-going habitat destruction and degradation, mainly through the expansion of small-scale agriculture.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as occurring at high densities in suitable habitat (del Hoyo et al. 2007).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in moderately rapid decline owing to on-going habitat clearance and degradation caused by the expansion of shifting agriculture (del Hoyo et al. 2007).

Distribution and population

Kupeornis rufocinctus occurs in the Albertine Rift mountains in Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (del Hoyo et al. 2007) where it is known to occur in the Itombwe Mountains, Mt Kabobo, Nyungwe Forest, and Mt Heha / Ijenda and Teza Forests (Stattersfield et al. 1998). This is a species with a restricted range and, although it can be locally very common, it is known from only a few sites.


It is a species of montane forest and bamboo at altitudes of 1,500-3,200 m. Gregarious, it is found in groups of 3-15 individuals which forage together on the trunks and branches of trees, taking insects and occasionally small fruits (Dowsett-Lemaire 1990, del Hoyo et al. 2007). The species appears to prefer very moist areas where trees are covered in mossy epiphytes; in such favourable habitat it can occur at high density, with each group having a home range of 20-25 ha. However, it is rare or absent from drier areas (Dowsett-Lemaire 1990). It feeds on insects and occasionally small fruits. Nest-building takes place in April and May, and dependent young have been observed between June and August in Rwanda (del Hoyo et al. 2007).


The level of threat to its few known sites, particularly as a result of clearance for shifting agriculture (Stattersfield et al. 1998), means that this species's long-term future is far from secure.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species, although some of its habitat is protected.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Carry out surveys to obtain a total population estimate. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation across its range. Protect suitable habitat for the species.


Text account compilers
O'Brien, A., Robertson, P., Taylor, J. & Westrip, J.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. & Dowsett, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Species factsheet: Kupeornis rufocinctus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/01/2021. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2021) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/01/2021.