Working for birds in Africa

Species

Fri, 02/08/2013 - 10:07 -- abc_admin
Grey_necked_Picathartes_Cameroon

Grey-necked Picathartes Picathartes oreas Cameroon

Image Credit: 
Doug Peters and courtesy of Earthwatch Institute Europe

Almost 2,500 bird species of 111 bird families have been seen in Africa and its associated islands. A complete checklist of species can be found in the African Bird Club Checklist. The countries which have the largest number of species on their national lists with the approximate numbers are the following.

Country Species
Democratic Republic of the Congo
1139
Tanzania
1137
Kenya
1080
Angola
915
Nigeria
910
Cameroon
908
Ethiopia
816

Endemic families

There are 20 endemic bird families in Africa as follows.

Family name Common name
Struthionidae Ostrich
Scopidae Hamerkop
Balaenicipitidae Shoebill
Sagittariidae Secretary Bird
Numididae Guineafowl
*Mesitornithidae Mesites
Musophagidae Turacos, Go-away Birds, Plantain-eaters
Coliidae Mousebirds
*Brachypteraciidae Ground-Rollers
*Leptosomidae Cuckoo-Roller
Phoeniculidae Wood-hoopoes, Scimitarbills
Capitonidae African Barbets
*Philepittidae Asities
Platyseiridae Wattle-eyes, Batis
Picathartidae Picathartes
Promeropidae Sugarbirds
Malaconotidae Bush-Shrikes, Boubous, Gonoleks, Tchagras
Prionopidae Helmet-Shrikes
*Vangidae Vangas
Viduidae Indigobirds, Whydahs

*These families are found only in Madagascar.

Some authorities place the Ground Hornbills in Bucorvidae, an African endemic family. The ABC checklist includes these species as part of Bucerotidae which is not endemic to Africa.

There is considerable on-going debate as to the family relationships of the following 5 species. The resolution of this would be likely to result in additional African endemic families.

Chaetops pycnopygius

Damara Rockjumper

Chaetops frenatus

Rufous Rockjumper

Modulatrix stictigula

Spot-throat

Arcanator orostruthus

Dappled Mountain-Robin

Horizorhinus dohrni

Dohrn’s Thrush-Babbler

The ABC checklist places these species currently in the family Timaliidae which is not endemic to Africa.

Timaliidae

Illaopsis, Babblers, Rockjumpers

Endemic species

Some 1,800 species are estimated to be found only in Africa and its associated islands.

Threatened species

BirdLife International 2000 has listed 343 species of global conservation concern in Africa. Of these, some 32 species are also found on other continents. The status of Africa's threatened birds is shown below.

Status Species
Extinct
3
Critically endangered
30
Endangered
56
Vulnerable
117
Conservation dependent
1
Near threatened
86
Data deficient
18
Least concern
32

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