Archived 2011-2012 topics: Grey-striped Francolin (Francolinus griseostriatus): downlist to Least Concern?

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

BirdLife species factsheet for Grey-striped Francolin

Grey-striped Francolin Francolinus griseostriatus is found in western Angola where it occupies a wide variety of habitats including secondary forest, thickets, weed-covered areas, grassland and abandoned agricultural fields, and may be locally fairly common (Mills 2010). The species is currently listed as Near Threatened under criteria B1a+b(ii,iii); C1; C2a(i), on the basis that it has a small and declining population, although it has more than one subpopulation, all of which number more than 1,000 individuals, occupying a small and declining range, with an Extent of Occurrence (EOO) estimated at 17,300 km2; however, it is known from more than 10 locations and its habitat is not considered severely fragmented.

Remapping of the species’s range by BirdLife with reference to data published by Mills (2010) has resulted in a new estimate for the EOO of 85,100 km2, suggesting that it no longer qualifies as Near Threatened under criterion B1. The new EOO also suggests that the population estimate should be revised upwards. It is currently placed in the band 2,500-9,999 based on a calculated population size of c.8,650 individuals on the basis of a density of 5 individuals/km2 (P. Vaz Pinto in litt. 2004) extrapolated to 10% of the EOO. The estimated EOO has increased by a factor of c.5, suggesting that the population should now be treated as falling in the band 20,000-49,999 individuals.

Updated BirdLife range map for Grey-striped Francolin (click on map to see larger version)

On this basis it is proposed that the species be downlisted to Least Concern as it no longer approaches the thresholds for Vulnerable under any of the IUCN criteria. Comments are invited on this proposed category change and further information would be welcomed.


Mills, M. S. L. (2010) Angola’s central scarp forests: patterns of bird diversity and conservation threats. Biodivers. Conserv. 19: 1883-1903.

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3 Responses to Archived 2011-2012 topics: Grey-striped Francolin (Francolinus griseostriatus): downlist to Least Concern?

  1. Fabio Olmos says:

    I’d be careful. W Angola is experiencing an agricultural renaissance with the Brazilian agrobusiness sector eyeing the country. It may well be the status of the species will become worse in the near future. I’d stick with NT

  2. I would also be a bit cautious on this one. I don’t dispute the validity of the estimates presented, but this is a difficult species to make reliable estimations, given its elusive nature. It does seem common on thickets and riverine scrub on the coastal plain – a habitat that as a whole doesn’t seem to be particularly threatened at the moment… on the other hand some habitats on the scarp where it occurs are under a lot of pressure, and current urban and farming development happening and being projected along the coast, may start affecting the species and eventually fragmenting the populations. I suppose Least Concern status is entirely justifyable according to the objective Criteria set, but just as precaution I would be more comfortable with keeping it Near Threatened.

  3. Michael Mills says:

    I am comfortable with the suggestion to downlist to Least Concern. Even in relatively heavily cultivated areas there seems to be no shortage of these birds, which call mostly at night. They also appear to occur throughout the Angolan escarpment (top to bottom and north to south).

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