Loango weaver (Ploceus subpersonatus)

Also known as: Loango slender-billed weaver
French: Tisserin de Cabinda
GenusPloceus (1)
SizeLength: 12 cm (2)

Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).

The little-known Loango weaver belongs to a group of small finch-like birds (3). Male Loango weavers have a jet-black face and throat that contrasts sharply with the golden yellow breast washed with chestnut. The plumage on the back is olive, tinged with yellow, and the tail and short-rounded wings are olive-brown (2) (4). The female has more yellow on the forehead (2). The short, conical bill of bill of both sexes is jet black (3) (4).

Occurs in Gabon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo and Cabinda (Angola), generally within three kilometres of the coast (2).

The Loango weaver has been found inhabiting abundant, coarse grass in clearings in secondary forests and at the edge of marshes; coastal savanna; and vegetation surrounding small coastal villages (2).

Almost nothing is known about the biology or ecology of the Loango weaver other than it has been found nesting in palms in small colonies (2) (5).

The Loango weaver is believed to have very specific habitat requirements (2), which makes it extremely vulnerable to any habitat destruction or alteration. Coastal bush habitat in areas of Gabon is being converted into allotments, destroying suitable habitat for the weaver, and oil spills from offshore rigs pose a continual threat to the coastal wildlife (2). This threat may be increasing due to a growing interest in oil the area, particularly from US companies, which may result in more on-shore and off-shore oil exploration and production activities (2) (6).

Much of the coastal habitat in south-western Gabon is protected in the Gamba Protected Areas Complex (5), and habitat along the Cabinda coast is also well protected (2). An area in north-western Gabon has also been proposed as a Nature Reserve (7), a measure which would offer protection to more colonies of the rare Loango weaver. The lack of information on the biology and ecology of the Loango weaver may hinder the implementation of appropriate conservation measures, and thus further surveys and research would be greatly beneficial (2).

For further information on the Gamba Protected Areas Complex and conservation in Gabon see:

For more information on this and other bird species please see:

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:

  1. IUCN Red List (December, 2007)
  2. BirdLife International (December, 2007)
  3. Burnie, D. (2001) Animal. Dorling Kindersley, London.
  4. Bannerman, D.A. (1953) The Birds of West and Equatorial Africa. Oliver and Boyd Ltd, Edinburgh.
  5. Birdlife International: IBA Factsheet (December, 2007)
  6. WWF: Gamba-Conkouatie Forest Landscape Programme (December, 2007)
  7. BirdLife International: IBA Factsheet (December, 2007)