Taita Apalis Apalis fuscigularis


Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J., Collar, N.J., Christie, D.A., Elliott, A., Fishpool, L.D.C., Boesman, P. and Kirwan, G.M. 2016. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 2: Passerines. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge, UK.

IUCN Red list criteria met and history
Red List criteria met
Critically Endangered Endangered Vulnerable
B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(i) B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(i); D B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)+2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(i); D1+2

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2021 Critically Endangered B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(i)
2018 Critically Endangered B2ab(iii,iv,v)
2016 Critically Endangered B2ab(iii,iv,v)
2015 Critically Endangered B2ab(iii,v)
2012 Critically Endangered B2ab(iii,v)
2011 Critically Endangered B2a+b(i,ii,iii,v)
2010 Critically Endangered B2a+b(i,ii,iii,v)
2009 Critically Endangered B2a+b(i,ii,iii,v)
2008 Critically Endangered
2004 Critically Endangered
2000 Critically Endangered
1996 Critically Endangered
1994 Critically Endangered
1988 Not Recognised
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency High
Land mass type Land-mass type - continent
Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 13 medium
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 16 good
Number of locations 3 -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 50-249 good estimated 2017
Population trend Decreasing medium inferred -
Decline (3 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (5 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/1 generation past) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation future) - - -
Decline (10 years/3 generation past and future) - - -
Number of subpopulations 3 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation 1-89 - - -

Population justification:

Analysis of data from distance point counts carried out in 2001 suggests that the total population numbered 310-654 individuals (Borghesio et al. 2010), roughly equating to 210-430 mature individuals. Surveys conducted using the same technique from 2009 to 2015 suggested that a severe decline had taken place, and that the population may then have been only 100-150 individuals (BirdLife International 2010, Borghesio et al. 2014, L. Borghesio in litt. 2012), but it was considered that further study and analyses were required to confirm the population trend and population size. In 2017, a study found the global population to be <200 individuals (Borghesio et al. unpublished data, as reported in Wagura 2018; Wagura et al. 2019). A total population of c.200 individuals would roughly equate to 130 mature individuals. The population size is therefore placed here in the band of 50-249 mature individuals.

Fewer than 30 individuals are believed to persist in the subpopulation at Ngangao (Wagura et al. 2018). Assuming the global population is 200 individuals, that leaves c.170 individuals divided between Vuria and Msidunyi. If each subpopulation was the same size, c.85 would remain in each fragment, which equates roughly to c.50 mature individuals. As the global population is estimated to be less than 200 total individuals, it is estimated that each subpopulation contains <50 mature individuals.

Trend justification: Most of the original forest in the Taita Hills has been cleared for cultivation or reforested with non-native, timber-tree species. Surveys in 2009-2010 strongly suggested that the species had undergone a severe decline of up to 80% since 2001 (Githiru and Borghesio 2010, BirdLife International 2010, L. Borghesio in litt. 2012). Habitat loss and degradation are believed to be ongoing (L. Lens in litt. 2019; Global Forest Watch 2020).

Country/territory distribution
Country/Territory Occurrence status Presence Resident Breeding Non-breeding Passage
Kenya N Extant Yes

Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA)
Country/Territory IBA Name
Kenya Taita Hills Forests

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Forest Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane major resident
Altitude 1400 - 2200 m Occasional altitudinal limits  

Threats & impact
Threat (level 1) Threat (level 2) Impact and Stresses
Agriculture & aquaculture Annual & perennial non-timber crops - Small-holder farming Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 7
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Wood & pulp plantations - Scale Unknown/Unrecorded Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Whole (>90%) Slow, Significant Declines Medium Impact: 7
Ecosystem degradation, Ecosystem conversion
Climate change & severe weather Habitat shifting & alteration Timing Scope Severity Impact
Future Whole (>90%) Unknown Unknown
Indirect ecosystem effects, Ecosystem degradation
Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases Problematic native species/diseases - Apalis thoracica Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Unknown Unknown Unknown

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Apalis fuscigularis. Downloaded from on 11/08/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 11/08/2022.