DistributionRead full entry
Range DescriptionMalimbus ballmanni is confined to parts of the Upper Guinea rainforest block of West Africa in Sierra Leone (Gola Forest, considered very rare [E. Klop in litt. 2007]), Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire (first found near but not in Taï National Park), and Guinea (Diecke Forest Reserve, where four groups containing nine individuals have been recorded [H. Rainey in litt. 2007]). Fieldwork in 1988-1989 in Gola Forest failed to relocate the species, but it was relocated in Gola North in February 2007 (E. Klop in litt. 2007, J. Lindsell in litt. 2007). It has not been seen again in Taï National Park. Field work in Cavally Forest Reserve, north-east of Taï National Park failed to relocate this species in 2002 (H. Rainey in litt. 2007) (it had previously been found to be common there [Gatter and Gardner 1993]). Surveys in Liberia have shown that it survives in two populations, one in western Liberia in an area of 200-300 km2 (population size unknown) including in Gola National Forest which is probably contiguous with the population in Sierra Leone (J. Lindsell in litt. 2012) and one in eastern Liberia (Grand Gedeh/Sinoe County). This eastern population extends into western Côte d'Ivoire (Goin Débé and Cavally Forest Reserves) covering an area of at least 18,000 km2, where it is locally common and the population has been estimated to lie in the region of 20,000-50,000 birds (Gatter and Gardner 1993). However, this estimate is considered optimistic (H. Rainey in litt. 2007) and extrapolated data for the total population must be treated with caution as the species appears to be very rare and localised in the western part of its range (J. Lindsell in litt. 2007). In 1999, two possible sightings from the Krahn-Bassa National forest region in south-east Liberia may extend the known range of its eastern population westward and southward (Robinson and Suter 1999).