White-tailed Warbler Poliolais lopezi


Justification of Red List category
Although this species may have a restricted range, it is not believed to 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 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). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). 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 locally common (del Hoyo et al. 2006).

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in decline owing to on-going habitat loss and degradation (del Hoyo et al. 2005). The likely rate of decline is suspected to fall in the band of 1-15% over three generations (Global Forest Watch 2020; Tchoumbou et al. 2020).

Distribution and population

Poliolais lopezi is restricted to the Obudu Plateau, eastern Nigeria (Elgood et al. 1994), the mountains of western Cameroon (Stuart 1986) and the island of Bioko (Equatorial Guinea) (Perez del Val 1996). It is locally common in its mainland range, but its status on Bioko is uncertain following reports of widespread deforestation since 1990 (del Hoyo et al. 2006).


It is found in dense, moist understorey of mid-altitude and montane forest, also in forest edge and clearings (Stuart 1986), occurring always in small numbers (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2000). It prefers thick bush and tangled undergrowth, especially where Oreacanthus manni is growing (del Hoyo et al. 2006). It occurs at 800-2,200 m on Mt Cameroon, 1,950-2,200 on Mt Manenguba and at 900-1,900 elsewhere in Cameroon, and is found up to 1,600 on Bioko. It feeds mainly on insects, foraging close to the ground. Breeding occurs in October-February in Cameroon and November-January on Bioko. It is probably monogamous and territorial. The nest is a ball or bag of moss with a side entrance, hung 1-1.5 m above the ground from a fern or herb. One or two eggs are laid (del Hoyo et al. 2006).


Forest within the species's range is threatened by unsustainable exploitation for timber and firewood, uncontrolled burning and encroachment for agriculture (Stattersfield et al. 1998). The montane and semi-montane forests of western Cameroon are under increasing pressure from deforestation for gardens (e.g. on Mt Kupe), and in more recent years for establishing large-scale oil-palm plantations, leading to the encroachment of the Bakossi block of forest (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2013).

Conservation actions

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation action is known for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct surveys to obtain a total population estimate. Assess the status of the population and its habitat on Bioko. Monitor population trends through regular surveys. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation within its range. Protect important habitat for the species.


Text account compilers
Clark, J.

Dowsett-Lemaire, F., O'Brien, A., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J. & Westrip, J.R.S.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Species factsheet: Poliolais lopezi. Downloaded from on 22/02/2024.
Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2024) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 22/02/2024.