Wednesday 22 May
Papyrus yellow warbler (Chloropeta gracilirostris)
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Papyrus yellow warbler fact file
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Papyrus yellow warbler description
In comparison with the browns and greys that typify the plumage of other warblers in swamp habitats, the papyrus yellow warbler is a relatively brightly coloured bird. Perched upright against the papyrus stalks, it displays an underbelly of rich yellow contrasting attractively with olive-brown upperparts (2). The song of this species consists of melodious liquid warblings (2) (3).
- Fauvette jaune aquatique.
- Length: 14 cm (2)
Papyrus yellow warbler biology
Very little has been documented about the ecology and reproductive biology of the papyrus yellow warbler. General observations have been of single birds, or pairs, foraging for tiny insects amongst papyrus (2).Top
Papyrus yellow warbler range
The distribution of the papyrus yellow warbler is severely fragmented across several countries within the Great Lakes region of Africa, including Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Zambia (2). The population occurring in Zambia and in parts of the DRC is considered to be a separate subspecies, Chloropeta gracilirostris bensoni (2) (4).Top
Papyrus yellow warbler habitatTop
Papyrus yellow warbler status
Classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Papyrus yellow warbler threats
Drainage of wetland sites to provide land for agriculture threatens much of the habitat suitable for the papyrus yellow warbler. For instance, in Kenya, the ongoing drainage of Yala swamp will reduce the range of the papyrus yellow warbler in this country by a third. Exacerbating the negative impacts of habitat conversion is the increasing over-exploitation of papyrus for fuel and local crafts, particularly around Lake Victoria where man-made ecological changes have seen the fisheries collapse (2). Furthermore, in some parts of this species’ range, the papyrus swamps are burnt by hunters in order to drive out game (2) (3).Top
Papyrus yellow warbler conservation
While the destruction of papyrus swamps is having a significant impact on the population of papyrus yellow warblers (2), this species, along with several other papyrus dwelling birds, is actually dependant on low-levels of disturbance. Consequently, the implementation of conservation measures requires a delicate balance between protecting habitat from degradation and over-exploitation, whilst allowing controlled harvesting. Although there are several protected parks which support large areas of papyrus, such as the Ugandan National Parks of Lake Mburo and Queen Elizabeth, community participation and regulated harvest quotas are seen as a vital component in papyrus yellow warbler conservation initiatives (3).Top
Find out more
For further information on the papyrus yellow warbler see:
- BirdLife International:
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- A population usually restricted to a geographical area that differs from other populations of the same species, but not to the extent of being classified as a separate species.
- IUCN Red List (October, 2007)
- BirdLife International (November, 2008)
- Maclean, I.M.D., Hassall, M., Boar, R.R. and Lake, I. (2006) Effects of disturbance and habitat loss on papyrus-dwelling passerines. Biological Conservation, 131: 349 - 358.
- Leonard, P. and Beel, C. (1999) Two new resident birds of northern Zambia. Bulletin of the African Bird Club, 6(1): 56 - 57.
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