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 Mountain Pipit: http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/factsheet/22718467
The distribution of Anthus hoeschi throughout sub-Saharan Africa is poorly known, but it is believed to be a breeding endemic to Lesotho and South Africa (Taylor et al. 2015), with a population size of <10,000 individuals. The species is currently listed globally as Least Concern but in the 2015 Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland (Taylor et al. 2015) this species was listed as Near Threatened because the species may have undergone/will undergo a population size reduction of at least 30% over the past and upcoming 10 years based on a decline of area of occupancy of up to 40%, as well as having a population size of <10,000 individuals. The presented decline may however be a result of the behaviour of the species as it is cryptic and easily misidentified, as well as inhabiting remote and inaccessible areas (Taylor et al. 2015). Additionally, Lee et al. (in press) suggest a range decline of 9% (with an unchanged core range since 1992). Despite this climate change is likely to affect this species further in the future and so it may require immediate monitoring (Taylor et al. 2015), and uplisting to Near Threatened (under critera A2c+3c+4c; C1) has been proposed. Comments on the proposed uplisting are welcome.
Lee, A.; Barnard, P.; Altwegg, R. (in press) Estimating conservation metrics from atlas data: the case of southern African endemic birds. Bird Conservation International.
Taylor, M. R.; Peacock, F.; Wanless, R. M. 2015. The 2015 Eskom Red Data Book of Birds of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.