Taita White-eye Zosterops silvanus


Justification of Red List Category
This species is Endangered because it has a very small range, within which it is restricted to a very small area of forest that is severely fragmented and declining in extent and quality.

Population justification
Surveys in the late 1990s suggested a minimum population of 922 individuals in Taita Hills (Mulwa et al. 2000), roughly equivalent to 615 mature individuals. Thus it is placed in the range of 250-999 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is thought to be declining and becoming severely fragmented as a result of habitat loss.

Distribution and population

Z. silvanus is found only in the remaining forest on Taita Hills and Mount Kasigau in Kenya (BirdLife International 2000).


This species is only found in the remaining forest on Taita Hills and Mount Kasigau (BirdLife International 2000).


The species is threatened by habitat destruction and fragmentation.

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
The Mt Kasigau Forest is, so far, well protected by the local population, who rely on the mountain streams for their water supply (L. Bennun in litt. 1999). The Forest Department is now safeguarding the remaining forest fragments of the Taita Hills. A collaborative research project, currently underway, includes a large ornithological component which aims to provide the necessary ecological data to plan conservation policies for this species and other endemics in the area (L. Bennun in litt. 1999).

Conservation Actions Proposed
Initiate an outreach programme to local communities, in particular to discuss the benefits of conserving the remaining forests (Brooks 1997). Draw up management plans, based on the results of ongoing ecological surveys, in close conjunction with the Forest Department and local communities (Brooks 1997). Remove non-native trees from within indigenous forest. Afforest cleared areas with native trees (Brooks 1997). Initiate sustainable forest-use schemes based on ecotourism and the harvest of forest products (Brooks 1997).


Text account compilers
Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Pilgrim, J. & Westrip, J.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Zosterops silvanus. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/12/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 06/12/2022.