Turner’s eremomela (Eremomela turneri)

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Turner's eremomela in branches
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Turner’s eremomela fact file

Turner’s eremomela description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassAves
OrderPasseriformes
FamilySylviidae
GenusEremomela (1)

This rare, attractive bird has a distinctive chestnut coloured forehead, contrasting with the grey plumage on the rest of the upperparts. The wing and tail feathers are a darker slate grey. The chin and throat are white and are divided from the pale grey belly by a black band across the neck. A blackish streak extends through the eye and the bill is also black (2). There are two subspecies of the Turner’s eremomela; Eremomela turneri kalindei is paler than Eremomela turneri turneri and has a brown tinge to the upperparts (2). Juvenile Turner’s eremomelas are rather different in appearance, with olive-brown plumage above, pale yellow plumage below, and they lack the distinct chestnut on head and black band on the throat (2).

French
Erémomèle de Turner.
Size
Length: 8.5 – 9 cm (2)
Weight
6 – 9 g (2)
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Turner’s eremomela biology

Little information is available on the biology of this Endangered bird. It is often seen in small groups of four (3), foraging high in the canopy for caterpillars and other insects (2).

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Turner’s eremomela range

E. t. turneri occurs in western Kenya, in the Kakamega and South Nandi Forests. E. t. kalindei is found in eastern-central and north-eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (3).

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Turner’s eremomela habitat

Turner’s eremomela inhabits forest, up to around 1,700 metres above sea level (2). It is often found in the canopy of large trees, showing a preference for Croton megalocarpus, but can also be found along streams, at forest edges, and in clearings (2) (3).

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Turner’s eremomela status

Classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List 2007 (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered

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Turner’s eremomela threats

As the Turner’s eremomela occurs in only a few small areas, it is very vulnerable to the habitat destruction and degradation that is taking place in the region (3). Kakamega and South Nandi Forests in Kenya are threatened by the encroachment of agriculture (both cultivation and cattle-grazing), uncontrolled logging and charcoal-making (3). South Nandi Forest in particular is being impacted by commercial logging; not only is it undertaken in a destructive manner, but it is targeting Croton megalocarpus, a preferred tree of the Turner’s eremomela (3). In the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda the Turner’s eremomela is considered rare, but little else is known about its status (2).

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Turner’s eremomela conservation

The northern part of Kakamega Forest has been declared a national park and another small area of the forest has been set aside as a national reserve (2), measures which will offer some protection to the habitat of the Turner’s eremomela’s. A group of local guides in Kakamega Forest have also initiated a programme of environmental education and awareness activities. However, effective conservation of both Kakamega and South Nandi Forests are still lacking, and commercial logging continues despite a ban on the logging of indigenous trees in Kenya (3). Major conservation projects are required to ensure the protection of these forests in Kenya, including enforcing the ban on logging indigenous trees, which will help secure the eremomela’s future (3).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
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Find out more

For further information on Turner’s eremomela see:

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Authentication

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:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

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Glossary

Foraging
The act of searching for food.
Subspecies
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.
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References

  1. IUCN Red List (September, 2007)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org
  2. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (2006) Handbook of the Birds of the World Volume 11: Old World Flycatchers to Old World Warblers. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  3. BirdLife International (June, 2008)
    http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/species/index.html?action=SpcHTMDetails.asp&sid=7667&m=0
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Image credit

Turner's eremomela in branches  
Turner's eremomela in branches

© Megan Perkins

Megan Perkins
12 The Street
Oare
Faversham
Kent
ME13 0PY
United Kingdom
megan@oarecreek.freeserve.co.uk

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