Sombre Rockchat Oenanthe dubia


Justification of Red List Category
This species is very poorly known and there is insufficient information to estimate range size, population size or population trend. For this reason the species is classified as Data Deficient.

Population justification
This is a poorly known species and no population estimates are available.

Distribution and population

Cercomela dubia is a rare and little-known species from east-central Ethiopia and Somalia. In Ethiopia, there are records from the Awash Valley, including Awash National Park, eastwards, while in Somalia there is a single old record from Mt Wagar, at which it has not been found subsequently despite searches (J. Miskell in litt. 2006). There is no recent information on the status of the species in Somalia; it is also uncertain how many records from Awash have involved confusion with the very similar Brown-tailed Chat C. scotocerca (Butchart 2007).


The species seems to favour areas of rock and scrub (EWNHS 1996), in common with the closely related Brown-tailed Chat C. scotocerca and Blackstart C. melanura, so it may have been overlooked.


Reports that refugee camps may have caused at least local declines (P. Robertson in litt. 1998) are erroneous as the camps are not in suitable habitat for this species (J. S. Ash in litt. 1999). No other threats are currently known.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
It has been recorded in Awash National Park.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Survey potentially suitable habitat in east-central Ethiopia and Somalia. Study its ecological requirements and threats.


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Khwaja, N., Robertson, P., Starkey, M., Bird, J., Westrip, J., Benstead, P., Martin, R.

Miskell, J., Robertson, P., Ash, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Oenanthe dubia. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/07/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/07/2019.