White Nile Sparrow Passer shelleyi


Justification of Red List Category
This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as moderately common in Ethiopia, fairly common in Uganda, rare in Kenya and uncommon to rare elsewhere (del Hoyo et al. 2009).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Distribution and population

Passer shelleyi is a resident breeder of south-eastern Sudan, north-eastern Uganda, western Kenya, southern and eastern Ethiopia, and north-west Somalia (del Hoyo et al. 2009).


Behaviour This species breeds in small colonies between September and November, and March and June. Nests are built by both sexes, and the female lays a clutch of 3-6 eggs (mean of 4). Habitat It is found mainly in open grassy savanna with trees at 1000 - 1700 m, but is also found in semi-desert and light woodland. Also found in a limited extent in cultivated land and in the vicinity of habitations, though it does penetrate into villages and does not associate with humans. Diet Little information, but presumably feeds on seeds and isnects.


Text account compilers
Calvert, R.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Species factsheet: Passer shelleyi. Downloaded from on 05/06/2020. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2020) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 05/06/2020.