Archived 2014 discussion: White-tailed Warbler (Poliolais lopezi): downlist to Least Concern?

This discussion was first published as part of the 2013 Red List update, but remains open for comment to enable reassessment in 2014.

BirdLife species factsheet for White-tailed Warbler

White-tailed Warbler Poliolais lopezi is restricted to the Obudu Plateau, eastern Nigeria (Elgood et al. 1994), the mountains of western Cameroon (Stuart 1986) and the island of Bioko (Equatorial Guinea) (Perez del Val 1996). The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is described as locally common (del Hoyo et al. 2006). It is currently listed as Near Threatened under criterion B1ab(i,ii,iii) because it was thought to have a moderately small range in which its habitat is threatened with clearance and degradation.

Mapping of this species’s range, however, shows that its Extent of Occurrence (EOO) is 37,200km2. As a result, it no longer approaches the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion and should warrant downlisting to Least Concern.

Information on the species’s population size and trends is welcome. Comments are also invited on the severity of habitat loss within its range.


del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Christie, D. (2006) Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Edicions: Barcelona, Spain

Elgood, J. H., Heigham, J. B., Moore, A. M., Nason, A. M., Sharland, R. E. and Skinner, N. J. (1994) The birds of Nigeria. British Ornithologists’ Union: Tring, U.K.

Pérez del Val, J. (1996) Las aves de Bioko, Guinea Ecuatorial: guía de campo. Edilesa, Leon

Stuart, S. N. (1986) Conservation of Cameroon montane forests. International Council for Bird Preservation: Cambridge, U.K.

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3 Responses to Archived 2014 discussion: White-tailed Warbler (Poliolais lopezi): downlist to Least Concern?

  1. Andy Symes says:

    The following comments were received from Françoise Dowsett-Lemaire on 20 August 2013:

    Poliolais lopezi, Phyllastrephus poliocephalus, Andropadus montanus, Zoothera crossleyi: all are proposed for down-listing to “least concern”. This seems unwise as the montane and semi-montane forests of W. Cameroon are under increasing pressure of deforestation for gardens (e.g. Kupe), and especially in recent years for establishing vast Oil Palm plantations. This has encroached upon some of the Bakossi block of forest, for instance; I don’t have time to carry out a full enquiry into this, but BirdLife ought to.

  2. Andy Symes says:

    Preliminary proposals

    Based on available information and comments posted above, our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List would be to treat White-tailed Warbler Poliolais lopezi as Near Threatened, approaching the threshold for Vulnerable under criterion A3c.

    There is now a period for further comments until the final deadline of 31 March, after which recommended categorisations will be put forward to IUCN.

    The final Red List categories will be published on the BirdLife and IUCN websites in mid-2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessments by both BirdLife and IUCN.

  3. Andy Symes says:

    Recommended categorisation to be put forward to IUCN

    Following further review, there has been no change to our preliminary proposal for the 2014 Red List status of this species.

    The final categorisation will be published later in 2014, following further checking of information relevant to the assessment by BirdLife and IUCN.

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