Ploceus flavipes


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Ploceus flavipes
Species Authority: Chapin, 1916
Common Name(s):
English Yellow-legged Weaver, Yellow-legged Malimbe
French Tisserin à pieds jaunes
Malimbus flavipes flavipes Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii,v);C2a(ii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2013-11-01
Assessor(s): BirdLife International
Reviewer(s): Butchart, S.
Contributor(s): Fishpool, L. & Hart, J.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Bird, J., Butchart, S., Ekstrom, J., Shutes, S., Symes, A., Taylor, J.
This species has a small range and a small declining population owing to the ongoing destruction and fragmentation of its lowland forest habitat. It is therefore classified as Vulnerable.

2012 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Ploceus flavipes is known only from central and eastern Ituri Forest in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where it would appear to be uncommon (J. Hart in litt. 2000). It occurs from Avakubi east to Simbo and Campi y Wanbuti, south to Ukaika, and then east to Lima, Tungudu and Makayobe. There are fewer than ten known specimens, taken between 1910 and 1959, and only two sight records since, from Okapi Faunal Reserve in 1990 and 1994. The paucity of records has led to the suggestion that it might possibly not be a valid species - records instead representing occasional hybrids, most likely between Ploceus nigerrimus and P. albinucha (Craig 2005) - however it is uncertain why hybrids should apparently only occur in a tiny part of the the easternmost fringe of the ranges of the putative parents (and P. nigerrimus is not a bird of intact forest) (L. D. C. Fishpool in litt. 2010). It may prove to be a valid species which occurs at very low densities in a poorly-known region.

Congo, The Democratic Republic of the
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The population is estimated to number 2,500-9,999 mature individuals based on an assessment of known records, descriptions of abundance and range size. This is consistent with recorded population density estimates for congeners or close relatives with a similar body size, and the fact that only a proportion of the estimated Extent of Occurrence is likely to be occupied. This estimate is equivalent to 3,750-14,999 individuals in total, rounded here to 3,500-15,000 individuals.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It appears to be restricted to lowland rainforest where it is found in the tops of tall and medium-sized trees. Its diet includes caterpillars. The breeding season may start around September.

Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Its habitat is in serious danger from forest clearance (mainly for agriculture). It is likely that the rate of deforestation has increased in recent years as a result of warfare (Kanyamibwa 1995).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions Underway
It occurs in the Okapi Faunal Reserve.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Extend the northern part of the Virunga National Park westwards, to include the eastern part of the Ituri Forest. Conduct surveys to ascertain the present status of the species (once the security situation allows this) (Butchart 2007). Carry out regular surveys to monitor population trends (as long as the security situation is conducive). Monitor rates of deforestation within its range. Carry out research into the condition of habitat and presence of threats (once the security situation allows this) (Butchart 2007). Clarify the taxonomic status of the species (it has been suggested that it could represent occasional hybrids between Ploceus nigerrimus and P. albinucha, Craig 2005).

Citation: BirdLife International 2013. Ploceus flavipes. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <>. Downloaded on 07 November 2014.
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