This discussion was first published as part of the 2016 Red List update. At the time a decision regarding its status was pended, but to enable potential reassessment of this species as part of the 2017 Red List update this post remained open and the date of posting was updated.
BirdLife species factsheet for Anambra Waxbill: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22719543
This species is known from a few localities in southern Nigeria, and Benin. Previous population estimates led to this species being listed as Vulnerable under criterion D1, but recent studies in Benin have found a minimum of 1,520 mature individuals in flocks of 5 to 140 birds (Gonin and Bercier 2016), while a survey of Nigeria found 400 individuals (O. Cooker pers. comm. to J. Gonin). Simple extrapolation from this suggests a population of 2,000-3,500 individuals (J. Gonin in litt. 2016), which would roughly equate to between 1,300 and 2,300 mature individuals. This would mean that the species no longer qualifies as Vulnerable under criterion D1.
If there is evidence for a population decline of 10% in 10 years or 3 generations, then this species may qualify as Vulnerable. However, there is no current evidence for any decline. Suitable habitat throughout the species’s range is not lacking and does not appear to be threatened, but it is possible that there are particular limiting factors that are not yet known. We therefore suggest that this species be downlisted to Near Threatened on the basis of its moderately small population (approaching the threshold for classification as Vulnerable under criterion D1).
We welcome any possible comments on this proposed downlisting.
Gonin, J.; Mercier, F. 2016. Mission Waxbill, bilan de l’expédition du 25 janvier au 7 février 2015. 360°Naturalist.