Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Acrocephalus brevipennis was once believed to be confined to Santiago, Cape Verde Islands, where it is now only locally distributed, mainly in the interior, with a few isolated sites in the south and west. It has apparently died out on Brava (no records since 1969 and formerly scarce) and was believed to have died out on So Nicolau (where it was formerly numerous). However, a previously unreported specimen collected on So Nicolau in October 1970 was discovered in the collection of the Centro de Zoologia, Lisbon, providing the impetus for a thorough search of the island (Hazevoet 1999a) and, in 1998, surveys located eight territories confined to the north-west of the island (though its long-term prospects for survival here are poor) (Hazevoet et al. 1999). In October 2004 a population was discovered on Fogo, and it has since been found to be widespread across the northern half of the island between 200-975 m, with the total population on the island conservatively estimated at 500 pairs (Hering and Hering 2005, Hering and Fuchs 2009). In addition, the species may have formerly occurred on Santo Anto (Hazevoet 1995). On Santiago, the species was recently reported from Tarrafal, far to the north of the species's known range (C.J. Hazevoet in litt. 2007). The total population was estimated at c.500 pairs in the early 1990s (Hazevoet 1995), and thought to number 1,000-1,500 birds based on its known range in 2007 (C.J. Hazevoet in litt. 2007). However the discovery of relatively large numbers on Fogo means that the total is probably considerably higher.

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Range

Santiago (Cape Verde Is.). Extirpated on São Nicolau and Brava.
  • Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Its original habitat was probably scrub on mountain slopes and reedbeds in valleys (Hazevoet 1993). It is now found in a broad range of habitats up to 1000 m (J. Hering and H. Hering in litt. 2004) (though mostly lower, and formerly only thought to range to 500 m (Hazevoet 1995)). The habitats occupied at lower elevations include well-vegetated valleys (especially with patches of reeds), reedbeds, woodland, agricultural areas, and gardens in villages and small towns, notably near running water (Hazevoet 1995). In 2004, a population in the interior of Santiago was noted inhabiting Eucalyptus forest with dense, bushy undergrowth at 800-1000 m (J. Hering and H. Hering in litt. 2004). On So Nicolau, it inhabits small, dense stands of cane Arundo donax along dry riverbeds, often with shrubs and fruit trees (Hazevoet et al. 1999). On Fogo, it inhabits coffee plantations with scattered fruit trees and maize fields with coffee bushes in areas characterised by narrow, shrub-filled ravines at 490-950 m (Hering and Hering 2005, Hering and Fuchs 2009). It breeds mainly in August-November, but the breeding season may be extended in response to local rainfall (Hazevoet 1995).


Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Taylor, J. & Butchart, S.

Contributor/s
Hazevoet, C., Hering, H. & Hering, J.

Justification
This species is confined to three small islands where, despite its adaptation to artificial habitats, its population is suspected to be declining as a result of successive droughts and an increasing human population. Its future on one island, in particular, is precarious. It is therefore classified as Endangered. The discovery of a relatively large population on Fogo, where it occurs commonly in plantations and crops, suggests that it may be less threatened than was previously feared, and if it is no longer considered to be undergoing continuing declines it may be eligible for downlisting in the future.


History
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)
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