Williams's Lark Mirafra williamsi


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
- - -

Red List history
Year Category Criteria
2018 Least Concern
2016 Data Deficient
2012 Data Deficient
2008 Data Deficient
2004 Data Deficient
2000 Data Deficient
1994 Lower Risk/Near Threatened
1988 Near Threatened
Species attributes

Migratory status not a migrant Forest dependency Does not normally occur in forest
Land mass type Average mass -

Estimate Data quality
Extent of Occurrence breeding/resident (km2) 51,800 medium
Number of locations -
Severely Fragmented -
Population and trend
Value Data quality Derivation Year of estimate
No. of mature individuals 200000 poor not applicable 0
Population trend Stable suspected -
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 - - -
Percentage in largest subpopulation 1-89 - - -
Generation length (yrs) 3.8 - - -

Population justification: The population size of this species has not been quantified, but it is described as locally common. From sightings of 16 individuals over 3 sites, a potential density of 0.61 individuals/ha was estimated (Magin 2013, Kipkoech et al. unpubl.) for the northern part of its range (north of Marsabit). Githuru et al. (unpubl.) covered the southern part of its range (between Isiolo and Garba Tula) and found very similar population density estimates (0.7 ± 0.14 individuals/ha). Githuru et al. highlight that they failed to find the species in some areas of suitable habitat; thus, these values may not be representative for the whole range and the density estimates should only be used a rough gauge rather than accurately estimating the global population size. Doing this, and assuming only a proportion of its range is occupied gives a population size estimate of >200,000 mature individuals. This could still be a large overestimate, but it does highlight that the overall population size is likely above 10,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification: The species's habitat is potentially threatened by livestock grazing and encroachment, but it is unclear whether this is actually affecting the species, and at the moment there is no evidence that they having an impact (Githiru et al. unpubl., Kipkoech et al. unpubl.). As such, the population trend is considered to be stable.

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 Dida Galgalu desert
Kenya Shaba National Reserve

Habitats & altitude
Habitat (level 1) Habitat (level 2) Importance Occurrence
Grassland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major resident
Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks) major resident
Shrubland Subtropical/Tropical Dry major resident
Altitude 600 - 1350 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 Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Ecosystem conversion
Agriculture & aquaculture Livestock farming & ranching - Nomadic grazing Timing Scope Severity Impact
Ongoing Minority (<50%) Unknown Unknown
Species disturbance, Ecosystem degradation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Species factsheet: Mirafra williamsi. Downloaded from on 24/09/2022. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2022) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 24/09/2022.