Archived 2011-2012 topics: Green-tailed Bristlebill (Bleda eximius): eligible for downlisting?

Initial deadline for comments: 31 January 2012 [note that this has been moved back by about two months].

BirdLife species factsheet for Green-tailed Bristlebill

Green-tailed Bristlebill Bleda eximius is known from the Upper Guinea forests of south-eastern Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and southern Ghana. It is currently listed as Vulnerable under criteria A2c; A3c; A4c on the basis that its population is suspected to be undergoing a continued decline equivalent to 30-49% over 10 years (estimate of three generations). A rapid decline is suspected because of intense pressure on forests for logging, agriculture and industrial development (e.g., H. Rainey in litt. 2007). This pressure is increasing locally and driving rapid deforestation in some areas.

Recently, however, evidence has been gathered that suggests this species is tolerant of forest degradation, such as logging and road-building, and its overall and local abundance may have previously been underestimated owing to the timing of surveys (Dowsett-Lemaire and Dowsett 2009, F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2010). As a consequence, it has been recommended that the species be downlisted to Near Threatened (F. Dowsett-Lemaire in litt. 2010). To qualify for Near Threatened under criterion A, the currently suspected rate of decline should be downgraded to a rate approaching 30% (typically 20-29%) over the last 10 years and/or be projected to decline at this rate over the next 10 years. Typically, a rate of decline estimated at below 20% over 10 years would qualify a species for Least Concern.

Comments are invited on the recommendation to downlist this species to Near Threatened and further information on its status is requested.


Dowsett-Lemaire, F. and Dowsett, R. J. (2009) Comments on selected forest reserves in SW Ghana: wildlife and conservation status. Dowsett-Lemaire Misc. Report 64.

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3 Responses to Archived 2011-2012 topics: Green-tailed Bristlebill (Bleda eximius): eligible for downlisting?

  1. Hugo Rainey says:

    Bleda eximia is not commonly found in the semi-deciduous forests of Upper Guinea. Its range is therefore only a proportion of the existing forests.

  2. Joe Taylor says:

    The following is extracted from information sent by F. Dowsett-Lemaire on 12 October 2011:

    “This bulbul is probably a lot more common than hitherto supposed . . . a species frequently mist-netted by L. Holbech during his surveys in the south-west (Holbech 2005). Inhabits dense understorey and tolerates a fair amount of degradation in the form of logging or road building etc. Found in even the most degraded types of forest in the area, e.g. the Bibiani region. Has a continuous range from Cape Three Points and the Côte d’Ivoire border (Bia N.P., Dadieso Forest Reserve, Boin River Forest Reserve, Ankasa N.P.) north to Bosumkese Hill (Sunyani, Mar 2010, where already recorded by A. Hester), east to Atewa Range and Worobong South Forest Reserves, and south-east to Kakum N.P. Bosumkese Hill would seem to be the only locality north of 7°N, as apparently absent from the drier Opro River/Afram Headwaters F.Rs and from Mpameso F.R.., where not found despite much tape playback . . . In the rains of 2010 much more vocal than in the dry season (e.g. Ankasa and Atewa Range), locally the most noisy Bleda species. Thus another reason why it may have been under-estimated is the seasonality of singing, as few people visit the forest region at the peak of the rains. We recommend it be downgraded to “NearThreatened”.”

  3. Philip Hall says:

    Green-tailed Bristlebills are still reasonably common in the Oban Hills sector of the Cross River National Park and do not appear to be under any current threats.

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