Red List of South African Species

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Vulnerable (VU)

Rationale

Both within and outside the southern Africa region, this species has a wide distribution and is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a threat or Near Threatened category. It is assessed as Least Concern within the region and also globally. However, in South Africa it is marginal and in former years was recorded twice in coastal swamp forests along the northern KwaZulu-Natal coast. It is known from only two locations, from which it has not been recorded since 1977, which can be accounted for by the severe drought events coupled with habitat degradation in many areas in recent years. It has an extent of occurrence (EOO) of 55 km2 and an area of occupancy (AOO) of 12 km2, based on the two historical localities. The sites where it has been found in the past are experiencing continuous decline due to loss of habitat through tree removal and the construction of infrastructures for ecotourism, resulting in forest destruction. The species is experiencing extreme population fluctuations due to drought conditions, as species is expected to return when favorable conditions re-establish. It qualifies as Critically Endangered B1ab(iii)c(iii,iv)+2ab(iii)c(iii,iv) however since this is a national assessment a regional adjustment is required based on the IUCN guidelines as the species has a widespread global population that is not declining and there is potential of immigration from neighbouring countries. The species is thus down listed twice, and it is assessed as Vulnerable B1ab(iii)c(iii,iv)+2ab(iii)c(iii,iv). Further searches are encouraged to confirm whether the species can in future be listed as regionally extinct.

Distribution

Globally, this species has been recorded from Ethiopia and Kenya south to KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) and northern Botswana. There is also an isolated record from central Nigeria. In central Africa, it is known from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In eastern Africa, it has been recorded in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Malawi. It is widespread in all four countries. Within the southern Africa region, this species is recorded from Botswana, Mozambique and Zambia. It is inferred to also occur in Namibia (East Caprivi). It is found only in the tropical parts of these countries. In northeastern Africa, this species is recorded from southern Ethiopia (Clausnitzer and Dijkstra 2005). It might occur in South Sudan and northern Kenya as well, where hardly any surveys have been done. Less than five percent of the global population occurs in northeastern Africa. In South Africa, it is known only from swamp forests in coastal KwaZulu-Natal (Samways 2006).

Population trend

Trend

The population size and trends are unknown. In South Africa, no subpopulation have been recorded in recent years, the absence of the species has been accounted for by extreme population fluctuations due to drought conditions, as species is expected to return when favorable conditions re-establish.

Threats

Forest destruction, loss of habitat through tree removal and the construction of infrastructures for ecotourism (Samways 2006) are the major threats to this species, all exacerbated by severe drought events in recent years.

Uses and trade

There is no use or trade information for this species.

Conservation

No information is available on conservation measures that are in place throughout most of the species' range. In South Africa, no specific measures are in place and none are envisaged. However, it is important to continue to monitor overall conservation of coastal swamp forests (Samways 2006).

Lead agencies, Partners, Funders and Data providers

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