Justification of Red List Category
Recent data for this species are lacking. However, it has apparently declined in both range and abundance and is now suspected to have a moderately small population. The reasons for this decline remain unknown, and it is presumably continuing. For these reasons, the species has been classified as Near Threatened. If it is found that the population is smaller and the decline more rapid than suspected, the species may qualify for a higher threat category.
The global population has not been quantified, but given the paucity of recent records it is thought to be moderately small. It is placed in the band 10,000-19,999 individuals, equating to 6,667-13,333 mature individuals, rounded here to 6,000-15,000 mature individuals.
The species was previously described as common to abundant; however, recently there have been very few records, suggesting a moderately rapid decline.
Scleroptila streptophora has a disjunct distribution, with populations in Burundi, Cameroon, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. The stronghold was assumed to be in Uganda, where the species was thought to be common in suitable habitat. However, a paucity of recent records has raised suspicions that it is not common or widespread there. Recent records from Uganda all come from the west (Carswell et al. 2005), where it is regularly recorded from Murchison Falls National Park (M. Mills in litt. 2006, D. Pomeroy in litt. 2006). It is recorded sporadically in western Kenya (Lewis and Pomeroy 1989) and is reportedly fairly common in Tanzania. There are no recent records from Cameroon and recent attempts to locate it failed (Languy in prep.). It is recorded from Ruvubu National Park in Burundi (G. Citegetse in litt. 2006) and has apparently been recorded in Rwanda (Stevenson and Fanshawe 2002).
This species inhabits stony hillsides with sparse grass and shrub cover, and wooded grasslands at 600-1,800 m. It is very shy, flushes reluctantly, usually encountered in pairs or small parties, and is most active at dawn.
Previously thought to be common, the reasons for its apparent decline are not known, but habitat modification is the most likely cause.
Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs within Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda and Ruvubu National Park in Burundi.
35 cm. Typical francolin with a dark brown back, dark flank stripes, bold white supercilium extending to the nape, red-brown face and neck sides, white throat and a black and white spotted collar. Has yellow legs. Similar spp. recalls Crested Francolin Francolinus sephaena but that species has red legs and lacks the bold flank stipes. Collar of Crested is less defined, and it lacks the red-brown face. Voice utters two, soft, dove-like coos
Text account compilers
Bird, J., Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J. & Taylor, J.
Citegetse, G., Mills, M. & Pomeroy, D.
BirdLife International (2023) Species factsheet: Scleroptila streptophora. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/02/2023. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2023) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 01/02/2023.